DETROIT, Mich — Reports from overseas indicate that Red Wings prospect Axel Holmstrom could be on his way over to North America now that Skellefteå's season is over after being eliminated by Christoffer Ehn and Frölunda HC.
“I have received signals that they want of me, leaning in that direction,” reports the Sports Bladet, on Wednesday. Holmstrom’s contract situation with Skellefteå remains to be seen, but the Red Wings previously expressed interest and patience with his development in Sweden. From what I’ve heard from a source in the NHL is that they’re ready to have Holmstrom begin his development in North America now that the team is poised to take a new direction; a la rebuild and reload.
Holmstrom spent much of his season injured, but continued to be a playoff producer for his team, posting six points (3-3-6) in six games before being eliminated. Holmstrom is your prototypical two-way center who plays with an edge to his game, a style of play that typically translates well in North American hockey. The article above gives the notion that Detroit has interest in bringing him directly to the NHL club, but that would go against how they’ve operated over the past several seasons. My bet is that they will try to load up Grand Rapids with as many of their talented prospects so they can poise for a deep playoff run.
Axel Holmstrom has always been an impressive player for where he was drafted, 196th overall in 2014. He could pan out to be a viable bottom-six role-player for the Red Wings for years to come. We’ll keep a close eye on the team’s plan with him for the next couple of years — whether it’s here in America, or in Sweden.