The Detroit Red Wings could go off-script and select Jesper Wallstedt, a goaltender at sixth overall in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
Jesper Wallstedt – Luleå HF
Sticking with the Swedish prospects narrative, the Detroit Red Wings could very well select a netminder. Using their first select on a goaltender is not all that crazy, and here’s why:
The Red Wings need goaltending help, they have some exciting in-house options, but a top prospect like Jesper Wallstedt would give them a good chance to breed a solid netminder. Beyond that, Wallstedt is ranked pretty highly, so taking him at sixth may not be as much of a stretch as it may seem.
Given that the Red Wings have two first-round draft picks, Wallstedt could be the first and still allow the Red Wings to grab another good name with the next pick later in the round. Wallstedt has played his recent seasons for Luleå HF of the SHL.
In 2020-21, Wallstedt was 12-10-0 with a 2.23 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. With the Swedish National team, Wallstedt produced a .923 save percentage over the course of four total games.
He is a solid netminder who could develop quite nicely in the Red Wings organization if all goes well. So far in his career, Wallstedt has been able to handle the bright lights and be able to deal with chaos well.
Whether the front of the net is crowded or he has a clear view of the action, Wallstedt has done a great job still focusing on the puck and finding ways to track the puck with a crowded net front. Overall, he is a strong netminder who should be a great pick for whoever selects him.
If the Red Wings have the chance to grab him at sixth overall, it might be worth taking a flier on the Swedish goalie, given that they have another first-round pick.