When the Detroit Red Wings drafted Marco Kasper eighth overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, there was hope that he would be the answer to the question that has plagued them for nearly seven years; How would they fill the second-line center position with talent that justified the position and responsibilities?
The most common theme from scouting reports on Kasper’s play was the continued praise for his two-way play. It’s a trait that Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman and his staff have always held in high regard when it comes to making the leap into the league.
After returning to Rogle BK in the Swedish Ice Hockey League, Kasper not only worked to develop his game for professional ice hockey, he thrived in the process. He had 12 more points in the regular season than in the preseason before he was drafted.
Kasper also improved his plus/minus rating by plus-17, reflecting his commitment to hitting both ends of the ice. His impressive game didn’t go unnoticed; In fact, he was named Austria’s Player of the Year by Powerplay Magazine, making him the youngest player to ever receive this award.
Marco Kasper, rising star of the Detroit Red Wings, causes a stir.
Red Wings fans tend to look to talents like Simon Edvinsson, Albert Johansson and even Carter Mazur as players who will go head-to-head in training camp next season and try to cement themselves in the opening night roster. I believe that Marco Kasper should definitely be involved in this discussion.
The main concern seems to be that most European players will need at least a year to adjust to the North American ice before entering the NHL full-time. However, Kasper’s game is already based on North American ice hockey. Strong on the boards, he’s not afraid to smash the net to venture into the dirty areas.
Forcing him into the Detroit lineup is not doing him or the organization any good. However, if he’s not ready at camp, there’s a good chance he’ll be raised along the way after spending time in Grand Rapids, similar to the path Edvinsson took this season. Barring any serious complications, Kasper will reportedly be playing some hockey in North America in 2023.
Red Wings AGM Shawn Horcoff said at the Detroit Economic Club event today that the team expects Marco Kasper to make the leap to North America next season. Not a surprise, but a confirmation.
— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) March 10, 2023
Whether or not Derek Lalonde sees his captain Dylan Larkin as the team’s first-line center, Kasper has to wait in the minors with the expectation of stepping in and taking the second-line center role, giving him some sense of solace give.
When it goes this way, the trickle down effect only enhances the depth of the bottom six forward. The potential of a Larkin-Kasper-Copp-Veleno middle group seems leaps and bounds ahead of the talent level of two years ago.
Source : octopusthrower.com