The Detroit Red Wings once again had no luck in the NHL draft lottery, staying in the position in which they finished: Sixth.
They had 7.6% odds of getting the first selection, which would mean they could have chosen from Michigan defenseman Owen Power, or forward Matthew Bernier. That pick went to the Buffalo Sabres, who will pick first for the second time since 2018.
The Wings had a 15.4% chance to land one of those picks. They could pick third, fourth or fifth, and had a 30% chance to pick sixth, a 43.8% chance to pick seventh, and a 10.9% chance to pick eighth, which is the latest they can pick.
The Wings haven’t had the first pick in the draft since 1986, when they selected Joe Murphy. They haven’t picked second since 1971, when they drafted Marcel Dionne.
The Wings are in a rebuild, and drafting well is key to becoming a playoff contender. This past season saw increased competitiveness thanks to the contributions of recent first-round picks including forwards Michael Rasmussen (ninth overall, 2017) and Filip Zadina (sixth, 2018).
Defenseman Moritz Seider (fourth, 2019) looks like he’ll provide a significant boost to next season’s squad.
The Wings haven’t had any luck since entering the draft lottery in 2017, which up until this season featured draws for the first three picks. In 2017, they missed out on defenseman Miro Heiskanen (third, Dallas Stars), who has drawn comparisons to Nicklas Lidstrom.
In 2018, they missed out on defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (first) and forward Andrei Svechnikov (second) — and they passed on defenseman Quinn Hughes, who the Vancouver Canucks drafted at No. 7. Forward Jack Hughes (younger brother of Quinn) was the consensus top pick in 2019, though as consolations go, Seider projects to be an impact player.
The biggest gut punch came last year, when the Wings finished 31st but were pushed back to fourth in the draft lottery, causing them to miss out on adding Alexis Lafreniere to the rebuild.
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.