Red Wings Trade Deadline Preview: Yzerman Hunting for Draft Picks

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The Detroit Red Wings and trade deadline day: what every fan has been waiting for this season. Will Steve Yzerman add to his three deals today? His previous three deals were these: Grabbing a 2022 fourth round pick for Patrick Nemeth, a 2021 fourth round pick for adding salary from the David Savard trade, and then a 2021 fifth round pick and prospect Hayden Verbeek for Jon Merrill.

Here’s a glance at where things stand right now before Deadline Day expires:

2021 Draft Picks (11)

1st (1); 2nd (3); 3rd (2) 4th (2); 5th (2); 6th (1)

2022 Draft Picks (9)

1st (1); 2nd (1); 3rd (1); 4th (3); 5th (1); 6th (1); 7th (1).

Red Wings Still Have Assets Available

There are two teams that could be desperate to make a move in the next several hours and pointed out by OT’s Alex Faber in his draft pick analysis for the East Division: Philadelphia and Boston.

Boston has been starving for secondary scoring and are smarting from Washington Sunday night. This could be an opportunity for Yzerman to take advantage of a panic situation. Rival Philadelphia needs goaltending help and Jonathan Bernier could possibly fill that need for them.

What about Edmonton general manager Ken Holland? A few of his favorites from his days as manager are still playing in Detroit. Would he “kick the tires” on what Yzerman would want for those veteran comforts he used to acquire when he was running the show in Hockeytown?

Could he be dealt? It seems unlikely that he’ll be moved on deadline day, but stranger things have happened. With Nick Foligno fetching a first round pick, might someone be willing to dish out the same for a 26-year-old forward with three years remaining and a knack for scoring? Of course, as many Red Wings fans would attest to, Mantha doesn’t always appear to be giving his all on every shift. He’s an intriguing option for sure. But can they absorb the cap hit for multiple seasons?

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The most likely candidates to be moved are Luke Glendening, Marc Staal, and Bernier. Darren Helm expressed interest in being moved, but his contract and lack of production might hinder a deal from getting a return (though the Wings could still eat salary). Evgeny Svechnikov is another name out there, though his stock isn’t what it could have been and it seems likely he’d be a throw in or dealt in a hockey trade. Some fans and pundits wonder if Yzerman could try to take advantage of Adam Erne‘s goal scoring as of late and sell high. Regardless, the Wings have some intriguing options for teams looking for help.

What’s the Red Wings Best Case Scenario

Somehow grab a first and second round pick. After the Foligno trade, I’m wondering if Yzerman could package a few of his picks with a player to move up to a higher round. But this doesn’t mesh with Yzerman’s draft strategy, which the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James touched on back in October. It’s about gathering as many picks as he can to maximize the chance of developing players. Though the chances of having an NHL player decreases as you descend by round, Yzerman believes that having more picks increases the chances of helping those players see NHL ice.

What’s the Red Wings Worst Case Scenario

The market isn’t as robust as it could be due to Covid Protocol and teams holding onto the purse strings a little tighter than usual. Yzerman’s deal with Columbus and Tampa was facilitated because Tampa was in no position to take Savard’s contract. Yzerman swooped in and helped relieve some of that financial burden. It’s been tepid thus far, with some pretty minor deals and not nearly as much chatter as usual. Maybe a Taylor Hall trade will open the floodgates a little but the worst possible scenario is that teams aren’t wiling to push as many chips into the middle and the Wings are left with assets but no one to take them.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of what happens, the trade deadline is still an exciting day for hockey fans. The anticipation of what could happen and then watching everything unfold makes for an unpredictable run until 3pm EST.

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