Analysts give Red Wings high marks for NHL draft haul

Detroit News

The Detroit News
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In addition to quantity, it appears as though the Detroit Red Wings landed quality in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

The Red Wings’ 12 selections — tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs for most in draft — over the two-day event generally netted Detroit positive reviews from national analysts, including an “A” grade from from J.D. Burke, a columnist for Elite Prospects’ EP Rinkside, and a B from ESPN’s Chris Peters.

Similarly, Timothy Rapp of Bleacher Report gave the Wings a B-plus.

Burke and Peters each wrote the Wings’ bevy of picks helped stoke their grade.

“The Detroit Red Wings made two of my least favourite picks in the draft,” Burke wrote,  “and they still walk away with one of the best grades of any team to leave the last two day’s festivities. That’s what pick volume can do for a team.”

The Red Wings’ draft was led by Swedish forward Lucas Raymond, selected with the No. 4 overall pick on Tuesday. Peters called Raymond “one of the best offensive talents in the draft.” The Wings added three prospects in the second round, led by Swedish defenseman William Wallinder, who both Peters and Burke said appears to be raw, but has potential.

Also selected in the second round were forwards Theodor Niederbach and Cross Hanas — prospects Peters and Burke both seem to like.

“Theodor Niederbach has really come on over the past season or so, growing on me quite a bit,” Peters writes. “He creates chances but needs to work on his shot.

“…  In total, the Red Wings drafted seven players off my top 100 and got one of my intriguing late-rounders to watch in Alex Cotton, an all-offense defenseman who had 20 goals in the WHL last season,” Peters writes. “Detroit has a lot more work to do, but this was a pretty good haul for the Red Wings.”

Burke’s top late-round find for the Wings was goaltender Jan Bednar of the Czech Republic, who was taken in the fourth round.

“He’s so athletic,” Burke writes, “and pulled off some of the best saves I’ve seen from any first-time draft-eligible goaltender in this class not named Yaroslav Askarov (selected No. 11 overall by the Nashville Predators).”

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