The Detroit Red Wings have found a landing spot for another prospect, this time loaning Jared McIsaac to HPK in Finland. McIsaac is coming off his final season of junior and will be experiencing professional hockey for the first time. The press release from his new team explains that the initial plan is to have the young defenseman play the entire season overseas, though the Red Wings are allowed to recall him should the AHL season get underway and they feel it would be a better spot for his development.
McIsaac, 20, was the 36th overall pick in 2018 and was a star this year at the World Junior Championship. An elite puck-moving defenseman in the CHL, he tallied 180 points over 241 games. That kind of ability will help him succeed at the next level, but there’s still plenty of development left for the young defender.
It will be interesting to see if other prospects decide to spend the entire season overseas, given the uncertainty around the 2020-21 AHL season. While it would burn the first year of his entry-level contract (McIsaac’s deal has already slid forward twice, and he is now ineligible for it to happen again), Liiga is obviously a perfectly fine development league for many players and shouldn’t prove too intimidating for the youngster. Of course, if camps don’t start until the new year, perhaps the Red Wings will have seen enough by that point to believe that McIsaac could even compete for a roster spot on the NHL squad.