Red Wings: 3 Positive Thoughts as the Draft Lottery Inches Closer

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With the NHL Lottery less than a week away, the Detroit Red Wings are sitting pretty knowing that the Capitals pick is a heckuva lot better with their early entrance. But that doesn’t console Wings fans (yours truly, too) aggravated that Detroit has a 53.7% chance of falling again in the draft. Fair? Nope. But instead of admiring the negatives, let’s mine some positives as the odds certainly aren’t in Detroit’s favor.

We’ll start with the most obvious of three positives regarding wherever the Wings pick.

Yzerman is the Red Wings General Manager

Let’s start with the biggest positive: Steve Yzerman is at the helm of his third draft. Since shocking the hockey world with the Moritz Seider pick and then dazzling with his selection of Lucas Raymond in last year’s draft, Yzerman has registered high marks by analysts and pundits for his choices. His later round picks have looked good as well, giving Red Wings fans a peace of mind whether Detroit chooses first or eighth.

His immortal words “google him” to concerned fans after the Seider pick was bold yet soothing. Here’s the newly minted general manager, taking over a smoldering franchise, and he’s confident

enough in his choice to simply tell fans to seek a search engine for further questions.

Two years later, the Red Wings might have a franchise defenseman on their hands. There’s still much to be seen at the NHL level, but early returns have been overwhelmingly positive.

In the 2019 draft, the Red Wings picked sixth. There’s obviously a higher chance of them picking anywhere from sixth to eighth so it’s not as if Yzerman hasn’t wowed before. Anything above six would be considered a bonus and the Red Wings are long overdue for some lottery luck.

The Draft is Wide Open for Talent

Craig Button’s latest draft rankings have the possibility of four defensemen being taken with the first four picks.  But with teams having not nearly as many opportunities to scout due to the pandemic, choices abound when it is time for Yzerman to make his choice. Though Button believes it to be a d-man’s draft, Yzerman took a defenseman in what was billed a forward’s draft back in 2019. Yzerman will take the best player that fits the scheme he’s building and it could get r

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eally interesting if they end up getting seventh or eighth.

Goaltender Jesper Wallstedt is projected ninth by Button while Michigan product Matthew Beniers is billed as fifth. Truly, it’s anyone’s guess as TSN colleague Bob McKenzie had a completely different looking board when he published his rankings a month earlier.

Outside of Owen Power, it could be very interesting who goes where once the lottery order

is set. It could be a boon for Yzerman, especially since he chooses again with Washington’s pick later in the first round.

The Red Wings Development Program is Getting Results

Michael Rasmussen. Filip Zadina. Joe Veleno. Moritz Seider. Lucas Raymond. The former three have worn the Winged Wheel this season and the latter two could as soon as next season. The key to success is not only making the right selection but then developing that talent properly to make the impact intended.

Rasmussen is beginning to show real strides. Zadina is revealing to be quite the playmaker–should the goals come he could be a bigger steal than originally thought. Veleno got a cup of coffee and showed a complete 200-ft game in that short time. Seider looks ready for NHL ice; Raymond isn’t too far behind.

The Red Wings brass is putting their best players in the best spot to succeed be it in the

AHL or overseas. This doesn’t cover the likes of Jonatan Berggren or Albert Johansson either, second round picks who took massive steps forward this season.

Detroit has the right people in place to turn this rebuild around. Regardless of where they choose, the Red Wings

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