Dear Red Wings: Marc Staal signs for another season; draft recap

Detroit keeps 34-year-old defenseman as NHL free agency season looms

FILE - In this May 8, 2021, file photo, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal controls the puck during an NHL hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Columbus, Ohio. Staal is staying put in Detroit, while the Vancouver Canucks placed Jake Virtanen on waivers on Sunday, July 25, 2021, for the purpose of buying out the final year of the under-performing forwards contract. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File) (Paul Vernon, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Defenseman Marc Staal is staying with the Detroit Red Wings for at least one more season.

The Red Wings signed the veteran defenseman to a one-year contract extension over the weekend. The AP reports the deal is worth $2 million.

Staal, 34, was first traded to Detroit by the New York Rangers in September 2020. The also received a second-round draft pick from the Rangers for future considerations.

Staal appeared in all 56 Red Wings games during the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season. He scored 3 goals and 7 assist. The Red Wings appear to have strong value for Staal as an experienced leader on the back end.

As of Monday, Detroit has four defenseman under NHL roster contracts: Nick Leddy, Danny DeKeyser, Troy Stecher and Staal. All of them become unrestricted free agents at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Meanwhile, Detroit has seven defenseman under entry-level contracts, according to CapFriendly. That list includes 2019 first-round pick Moritz Seider and Wyatt Newpower, who signed with the Red Wings in May.

Connecticut Huskies defenseman Wyatt Newpower (20) in action against Sacred Heart Pioneers during an NCAA hockey game on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 in Bridgeport, Conn. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Newpower, 23, was undrafted and spent four seasons with the University of Connecticut, where he was team captain. He broke into the professional circuit with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters. The right shot defenseman is 6-4, 205 pounds. Newpower had 10 points in 24 games during his single season with the Monsters, then signed with Detroit.

NHL free agency opens noon Wednesday, July 28.

Red Wings 2021 draft review

Here are your 2021 Detroit Red Wings draft picks:

Simon Edvinsson is a native of Sweden. He’s 6-foot-5 and is described as a “detailed defender with high-level in-zone instincts, a tight neutral zone gap, well-timed physicality, and supporting instincts to match” by Elite Prospects. He played 10 games with Frölunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League this past season. He shoots left.

The Red Wings traded up to the 15th overall pick to select goalie Sebastian Cossa by sending three picks to the Dallas Stars -- the 23rd overall pick, a 2nd-round pick (48th overall) and a 5th-round pick (138th overall) in this year’s draft.

Cossa, 18, stands 6-foot-6 and is coming out of Canada’s Western Hockey League (WHL) where he posted a .941 save percentage through 19 games played this past season with the Edmonton Oil Kings. He also had 4 shutouts. He played 33 games with the Oil Kings in 2019-20 for a .921 save percentage -- he also had 4 shutouts that season. Yzerman said the addition of Alex Nedeljkovic allows them to be more patient with Cossa.

To select defenseman Shai Buium at 36th overall in the 2nd round, the Red Wings struck another trade. Detroit sent the 38th (2nd round) and 128th (4th round) picks to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for the 36th overall pick in the 2nd round where they drafted Buium. Buium, 18, spent the past season playing with the prestigious Shattuck St. Mary’s prep high school. He also played 50 games with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL. He shoots left and is listed at 6-foot-3, 213 pounds.

Detroit then selected a local kid, left wing Carter Mazur, at 70th overall (3rd round). Mazur, 19, is a product of the Little Caesars youth hockey program based in Metro Detroit. He played this past season in the USHL with the Tri-City Storm, scoring 44 points in 47 games played. Mazur was captain of the Storm. He played part of the 2018-19 season with the U.S. national development program in Plymouth, Mich. but then joined the Storm.

Detroit made a third in-draft trade with the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, giving them the 102nd pick in exchange for the 114th and 155th picks.

The Red Wings then selected two centers:

  • Red Savage from the U.S. development program at 114th overall (4th round). Savage had 42 points in 46 games played this past season. He captained USA’s U18 team at the WJC.
  • Liam Dower Nilsson, selected 134th overall in the 5th round, was Edvinsson’s teammate this past season with Frölunda. He was Sweden’s U18 captain at WJC.

Detroit selected one more defenseman at 155th overall: Oscar Plandowski out of the QMJHL. “He’s elusive” is how EP draft guide describes him.

Finally, left wing/center Pasquale Zito was taken at 166th overall in the 6th round. He’s with the Windsor Spitfires right now, where he’s slated to play again this fall, keeping him local.


About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.