The Detroit Red Wings are still working through their rebuild despite a flurry of activity this summer. General manager Steve Yzerman made many moves this offseason to try and increase the quality of the Red Wings roster. However, there are still avenues for younger players to grab a roster spot ahead of the new season.
Detroit allowed forwards Alex Chiasson, Adam Erne, and Pius Suter to hit the open market in NHL Free Agency. They traded away forward Dominik Kubalik to the Ottawa Senators in a deal to acquire Alex DeBrincat. They lost depth defenseman Jordan Oesterle to the Calgary Flames.
Of course, adding the likes of DeBrincat, former Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner Justin Holl, and former Colorado Avalanche forward J.T. Compher limits available spots higher in the lineup. However, further down the lineup, there are no guarantees.
With training camps across the NHL set to begin soon, let's examine which young hopefuls fans have something to prove. Here are four Detroit Red Wings prospects to keep your eyes on ahead of 2023 NHL training camp.
4) Amadeus Lombardi
Amadeus Lombardi burst onto the scene in 2022-23. Detroit drafted him in the fourth round of the 2022 NHL Draft, but he played well above his draft position. The 20-year-old scored 45 goals and 102 points for the Ontario Hockey League's Flint Firebirds last season.
Back in June, the Red Wings held their development camp. Lombardi impressed during this camp last summer, and this summer was no different. He was among the top performers, especially during the three-on-three scrimmages.
The chances of Lombardi making the leap to the NHL next season are rather small. However, a good performance in training camp can prove that the 20-year-old is no flash in the pan. He can cement his place as a potential piece in Detroit's future, and solidify his status as a diamond in the rough of the NHL Draft.
3) Carter Mazur
Mazur is another mid-round prospect who is beginning to make a name for himself. The Jackson, Michigan native was picked by the Red Wings in the third round of the 2021 NHL Draft. He turned in an impressive two seasons with the University of Denver before producing at a point-per-game pace in a cup of coffee with the Grand Rapids Griffins last season.
Yzerman spoke highly of the 21-year-old forward back in May. “He’s going to be on our team, and I think he’s going to be a real good player for us sooner than later. Is it September, October? I’m not sure,” Yzerman said, via MLive.com.
Now, the Red Wings general manager said this before NHL Free Agency. However, there's no reason to assume that Mazur doesn't have a chance to make Detroit's roster for opening night. He has competition ahead of him for sure, but the Red Wings are clearly high on the Michigan native.
2) William Wallinder
Wallinder is a former second-round pick of the Red Wings, being selected in 2020. He played last season with Swedish outfit Rogle BK for the most part. The 21-year-old earned the European Hockey Club's Young Player of the Year Award as the most valuable U22 player in European hockey for his performance.
Wallinder is one of Detroit's top left-hand shot defensive prospects. Former first-round pick Simon Edvinsson is the team's top defensive prospect overall. However, he is still recovering from offseason surgery. This opens a spot for either Wallinder or Albert Johansson to potentially claim a roster spot.
Of course, Wallinder faces an uphill battle. Detroit's left side appears set, with Holl, Jake Walman, Ben Chiarot, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Olli Maatta capable of playing that side of the blueline. However, a good enough performance in training camp may force the Red Wings' hands.
1) Marco Kasper
Kasper is one of Detroit's top prospects. The team drafted him in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft, and the 19-year-old Austrian forward turned in an impressive season with Rogle BK in 2022-23.
Kasper got his shot in the NHL back in early April, making his NHL debut against the Maple Leafs. However, that was the only game in the NHL he'd play. The 19-year-old missed the rest of the season with a lower-body injury.
Now, Kasper has his eyes on a spot with the Red Wings. Like the others on this list, he also faces an uphill battle. Detroit's signing of Compher complicates his place in the lineup, for example.
That being said, there's still a way the Austrian prospect can make the team. Forward Joe Veleno remains an unsigned restricted free agent. Even if Veleno signs, there's no guarantee he slots in as the team's third or even fourth-line center. Perhaps the 19-year-old Kasper can mark one of those spots as his own.