Red Wings: Prospect development in 2020-21 could be problematic

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

As the Detroit Red Wings continue to loan players ahead of the 2020-21 season, prospect development grows more worrisome by the day.

The Detroit Red Wings have loaned Jared McIsaac to a Finnish team, meaning another player or prospect has been loaned to a European team. While this is good for their development, it should leave a feeling of worry for the Red Wings fanbase.

The last time the Red Wings took the ice was March 10th when they lost 5-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes; meanwhile, teams who played in the restart got a taste of summer hockey. The organization has tried to get creative, and it has worked.

Sending prospects and players to play in their home countries, or just loaning players to these European organizations is how the organization is coping with the time off the ice due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

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This seems fine and dandy, it is beneficial for these players to be skating again, but this is problematic for the North American leagues.

The likelihood of the American Hockey League (AHL) starting up soon has not been as well broadcast as the National Hockey League(NHL), which strongly reiterated a full season will be played.

In a recent Detroit Free Press($) article, it was even noted that the AHL is trying to figure out ways to see if playing the 2020-21 season is going to be feasible.

No AHL hockey means very little or no minor league development for the organization’s prospects.

Without the Grand Rapids Griffins, players like Mathias Bróme, Gustav Lindström, Moritz Seider, and Joe Veleno would be playing in other places.

While players like this who have roots in organizations elsewhere have been loaned, they are missing out on the AHL caliber talent.

They are missing out on the coaching that comes from the organization from former NHLers like Dan Cleary, Mike Knuble, Shawn Horcoff, and others that allow them to become acclimated to the systems that they will be playing at the NHL level with the Red Wings.

Without the AHL, it could put the development of the Red Wings prospects in a more challenging spot for the future of this rebuild. There is a benefit to loaning players to teams in Europe, letting them get on the ice and continue developing.

Between now and October, the hope is that the league can string things together and get a start date together.

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At the end of the day, the Detroit Red Wings will need to come up with a way to ensure their players are on the ice, training, and hopefully able to continue their development. The hope would be in the leagues they are slated to play in like the AHL, but keeping them overseas might become the best plan.