Here’s something to get excited about: The Detroit Red Wings have called up defenseman Simon Edvinsson, their prize pick from the 2021 draft.
Edvinsson, and veteran forward Austin Czarnik, were called up Friday morning under emergency conditions. The Wings, who host the Colorado Avalanche Saturday, are dealing with multiple banged-up players, including veteran defenseman Ben Chiarot.
Edvinsson, 20, has spent the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, getting acclimated to North American hockey. General manager Steve Yzerman noted earlier this month that Edvinsson had gone through some growing pains, which isn’t unusual. But he’s 6 foot 6, 209 pounds, and smart, and figures to be a key part of the rebuild.
Edvinsson leads Griffins defensemen with 27 points (five of which are goals) in 51 games. He has four multi-point games on his resume, setting a personal best with three assists among four points and a plus-5 rating Feb. 15 in a game against Rockford.
He was scouted as a big, rangy defender with a smooth stride and an offensive upside in his draft year
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The Wings (30-28-9) are nine points out of a playoff spot. Yzerman’s decision to trade four players at the March 3 deadline, including top-four defenseman Filip Hronek, was an indication Yzerman didn’t see the Wings advancing to the playoffs. But that doesn’t mean the games are meaningless — as players have made it a point to stress — and it does afford an opportunity to get a look at a player like Edvinsson. This is a chance to see how he matches up at the NHL level, and will further help him understand how big a summer lies ahead as he continues his training.
Contact Helene St. At James [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for us Red Wings newsletter. Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings call up 2021 first-round pick, Simon Edvinsson