Detroit Red Wings fans everywhere have absolutely zero faith in anything related to the NHL Draft Lottery. Four years of falling have made even the most optimistic fan reaching for a ginger ale while suffering through the free fall. Last year’s especially was brutal–with a historically bad season followed up by a three spot tumble.
Lucas Raymond is not a consolation prize. Not even close. But it was the principle of the matter that caused the NHL to change its rules and make it a two draw lottery instead of three. Though it may seem too little too late, the Red Wings can still fall down to the eighth overall spot, hold steady at sixth or drop to seventh. Statistically, this is the greatest chance of happening, but we’ve seen miracles in the draft before, right New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago?
Here’s some attempts at levity (with a touch of humor) should the Red Wings slide again in the draft:
The Red Wings have Drafted Pretty Well in Spite of the Slide
2017 was the first slide and Michael Rasmussen wasn’t exactly everyone’s favorite pick at the time. Four seasons later, it appears Rasmussen is developing into a pretty good player that could definitely slot in as a contributor as the team rises. Will he be a thirty goal scorer? Not sure. But his strides this season show that the development program is working in Detroit. He could be a force on the power play, something the Red Wings desperately need.
The 2018 Draft was Ken Holland’s finest before he left for Edmonton a season later. Though he passed on Quinn Hughes, few if any criticized the Filip Zadina pick. Holland also snagged Joe Veleno and Jonatan Berggren, getting some major value in the draft. It remains to be seen if it all truly translates into success for Detroit long term, but at least it felt like they did everything they could.
Yzerman’s drafts are still TBD. There are certainly a lot of reasons to be hopeful but as he would say, let’s temper expectations. Regardless, the Red WIngs have been making the most of whatever the draft has given them.
The 2021 Draft is Pretty Wide Open
Because of the pandemic, who knows what teams are truly getting when they make a choice. There have been scores of articles written by very good writers claiming this lottery to be chaos and the field wide open after the number one pick, which is presumed to be University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power. Every team is in the same boat with the information they have so at this point, it’s pretty much the development factor that will play the biggest role in determining the contribution of any prospect taken.
Red Wings Have a Lot of Picks
We can all agree that the Washington deal for Anthony Mantha is looking like a heist for Yzerman. We can also agree that having seven draft picks in the first 100 choices gives Detroit a lot of options and chances to add to the already impressive prospect pool.
As teams have shown in the past, it’s about making the right pick rather than always getting that top one. Though getting those top ones really expedites a rebuild, something the Red Wings are more than due for. (Yes, I’m whining a bit here).
Best to Prepare for another Drop
Grab a ginger ale and embrace the chaos tonight. Now heading into the fifth season of the lottery being a part of the Red Wings experience, I’ve set my expectations so low that I’ll have to shrug and laugh if they slide once more. Cynicism? Nah. Realism.
We can all agree, however, that when as a fanbase we’re all watching the playoffs instead of the lottery that this will have all been worth it.
Now excuse me while I tighten my tin foil cap to my head.
2021 Draft Lottery Viewing Information
Tonight – 7PM Eastern on NBC Sports Network