MILWAUKEE -- While he’s currently enjoying an exciting 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs run with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Simon Edvinsson can’t help but think about what could have been for the 2023-24 Detroit Red Wings.

“It’s been fun with the Griffins. But of course, it sucked to have gone out that way (with the Red Wings),” Edvinsson told DetroitRedWings.com on Wednesday. “It was a lot of fun to play those difficult, important games. It was a great experience, but I really felt like we had something with that group.”

Edvinsson had two stints with the Red Wings this season (Dec. 23 – 27 and March 19 – April 16), tallying two points (one goal, one assist) and averaging 18:15 of ice time in 16 NHL games. The 21-year-old defenseman shouldered a top-four role on the back end for Detroit during its late-season push for a 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs spot, an experience Edvinsson said has him hungry for more.

“We put all of our effort into those games,” Edvinsson said. “That’s something I’m going to take with me into this summer. I want to go and crush it next season. That’s what I’m aiming for, just to work as hard as possible.”

Griffins first-year head coach Dan Watson said there’s been a noticeable difference in Edvinsson’s play since the Swedish blueliner was reassigned to the AHL on April 17 after the Red Wings were eliminated from playoff contention.

“A growing experience for him was being with the Wings down the stretch and feeling the intensity of those regular-season games,” Watson said about Edvinsson. “He brought that right back down here and was great in the first round.”

Edvinsson has two assists in five postseason games with the Griffins, who currently have a 1-0 series lead over the Milwaukee Admirals in the AHL Central Division Finals. The Admirals will host the Griffins for Game 2 in the best-of-five series at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Monday night.  

“It’s a different kind of hockey in the AHL and in the playoffs,” Edvinsson said. “You have to change your style of play a little bit, but it’s still in my mind to play great with the puck, find my teammates and work on different stuff that I want to improve. This is a good time for me to do that, plus just being emotionally engaged in the game.”

In 54 regular-season games with Grand Rapids this season, Edvinsson led the club’s defensemen in goals (eight) and points (30). And when Edvinsson contributes both offensively and defensively, according to Watson, the Griffins are in a good place.

“He’s mobile and has the ability to clear net front for us, especially in the playoffs,” Watson said. “That’s where the battles are won and lost around the net. He’s been keeping it simple. That’s what we need him to do.”

Grand Rapids forward Austin Czarnik said Edvinsson’s skill and talent are indicators of a very bright future.

“As people saw in Detroit, he’s ready to take that next step,” Czarnik said about Edvinsson. “(In Grand Rapids), you can just see that every single play he makes is so simple. It’s smooth and effortless. These playoffs are important for him just to be part of that physical game and try to win a championship to get that winning mentality.”