5 Detroit Red Wings Rookies That Could Make Opening Night Lineup

Detroit Red Wings, Marco Kasper. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Detroit Red Wings, Marco Kasper. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings have an exciting future with some talented prospects. Some have grabbed AHL experience with the Grand Rapids Griffins, while others are playing overseas.

With the prospect pool of Detroit deep once again, which players could we see surprise us in training camp and earn a roster spot on the main roster on opening night?

Which Detroit Red Wings young players have it?

The Red Wings have added solid young players to the organization since general manager Steve Yzerman took over. So much so that the prospects are making an impact sooner than later and may be ready to lock down one of the roster spots.

Some of these players were expected to do well while others grabbed the opportunity and ran with it. Here are five rookies who could make the roster on opening night.

Carter Mazur

Forward Carter Mazur made his pro debut last season with Grand Rapids, totaling three goals and three assists for six points in six games. His pro debut came after a successful career at the University of Denver of the NCAA.

He has made quite the leap since he was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the third round of the 2021 NHL Draft. Once thought of as a depth piece, Mazur could find his way into the top six and be an effective player.

If Mazur does not make the team out of training camp, expect him to at least get a few games this season at the NHL level.

Albert Johansson

Defenseman Albert Johansson is small at 6-foot and 180 pounds, but his play indicates he plays a bigger game. A second-round pick by the Detroit Red Wings in 2019, he has adjusted well in coming to North America and has solidified himself as one of the top prospects on the defensive side.

A mobile defenseman who skates and sees the ice well, he has an NHL shot to boot. A defensive defenseman who can create offense from time to time, Johansson’s offensive production could be the only thing keeping him from a full-time spot on the Red Wings blueline.

Last season in Grand Rapids, Johansson produced five goals and 10 assists for 15 points in 53 games. He also had 38 penalty minutes in those 53 games, showing he has a physical side to his game. Like Mazur, he could see time in the NHL this season if he is not on the opening night roster.

Marco Kasper

Forward Marco Kasper is the latest young star in the fold who could make an impact once in Detroit. He could make a big impression at a training camp that leaves management no choice but to put him in the lineup for game one.

Kasper was picked eighth overall in the 2022 NHL Draft and looks to be as polished as any Detroit Red Wings prospect. Detroit could always use another scoring center for depth, and Kasper fits that mold.

As talented as he is, Kasper will need a strong camp to crack the roster on opening night. He will, sooner or later, be a regular in the lineup as he begins his journey into an NHL star.

Whether he is in Detroit for game one or starts the season with the Griffins, Kasper is a star waiting to make an impression.

Axel Sandin Pellikka

A small, Swedish defenseman, Axel Sandin Pellikka fell to the Red Wings at number 17 in the 2023 NHL Draft, and they could not make it to the podium fast enough.  He fits everything that the Detroit Red Wings are looking for in a defenseman.

He shoots right, has speed, is offensively productive, young, and has a scrappy style to his game. He has the potential to be one of the players in training camp that could be on the roster for game one. He fits the Red Wings’ structure and fills a hole as an offensive defenseman.

Sandin Pellikka easily replaces the gap left by the trade of defenseman Filip Hronek, who was traded to the Vancouver Canucks, and slots in on either power play quarterback position.

Amadeus Lombardi

An underrated player who has put in the work since he was drafted, Amadeus Lombardi has become a better player through work ethic. He is the Detroit Red Wings’ type of player, which is a smaller player who can skate, create offensive chances without thinking, be defensively responsible, and has some grit to his game.

A pleasant surprise coming out of the fourth round of the 2022 NHL Draft, Lombardi is making a strong case to start the year in Detroit. Along with Kasper, they could be fighting for the same roster spot in camp.

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Lombardi has made tremendous strides in his development to become a player that the Red Wings take notice of and give a chance to.