With the 8th overall selection, the Detroit Red Wings selected Marco Kasper in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings front office settled on the Austrian center 8th overall. It’s not really a surprise, considering he was playing with Rogle BK in the SHL. The 6-foot-2, 187-pound center is a strong skater that isn’t afraid to get into physical battles around the net and along the boards.
In terms of Kasper’s production in 2021-22, he scored 11 points in 46 games in the SHL but also scored 6 points in 13 SHL playoff games. He was over a point per game with 13 points in 12 games in the J20 Nationell.
Here is his description from the Elite Prospects draft guide:
“He’s physical and capable along the boards, even in terms of manipulation; he recognizes the angle of defenders coming at him and knows how to beat them and escape them. He passes to the right areas, knows the next logical play in the offensive progression. He goes to the net, hard and often, and with purpose: to screen, rebound, and score. He has good first touches: takes them inside when possible and leads to next play.”
As far as what Yzerman thinks about the 18-year-old, he said, “We think he has underrated skill, and we think he has the ability to play in our top six”, to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan.
After drafting Moritz Seider at 6th overall in the 2019 NHL Draft, it’s hard to not trust Yzerman and his scouts' judgment with this selection. There is plenty of upside for Red Wings fans to be excited about, even though it’s likely that Kasper goes back to Sweden to continue to develop.
Although he’s not technically Swedish, add it to the list of talent that the Red Wings have tapped into across the pond since the Yzerman regime began. The Red Wings next pick comes in the second round at 40th overall.