Now that the Stanley Cup playoffs are down to the final four teams, the draft order for the first 27 spots has been finalized.
The Wings sat steady in the June 2 draft lottery, getting the sixth pick. But they have a second first-round pick thanks to general manager Steve Yzerman’s trade-deadline deal with the Washington Capitals, and that will be at 22nd.
The first round is July 23.
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The spot would have been at 23rd had the Arizona Coyotes not violated combine testing policy in 2019-20; part of the penalty for that was forfeiture of what would have been the 11th pick this year.
The Boston Bruins did the Wings a favor and eliminated the Caps in the first round, but the final order of drafting depended on where division winners finished. The Colorado Avalanche, which won the West, was eliminated Thursday by the Vegas Golden Knights.
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The Knights will play the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning will face off against the New York Islanders to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
Yzerman secured the Capitals’ pick as part of the return on Anthony Mantha. It was a really good deal for the Wings: Although it’s not a top-10 pick, this draft promises to deliver plenty of surprises because teams haven’t been able to scout as much as usual because of the pandemic.
But that wasn’t all Yzerman got: He also received a second-round pick in 2022, and forwards Jakub Vrana and Richard Panik. Vrana, the 13th pick in the 2014 draft, livened up the last month of the season for the Wings, delivering eight goals (plus a Peter Forsberg-style shootout goal, which doesn’t count as a personal statistic) and three assists in 11 games. Then he went to the World Championship and recorded two goals and two assists in seven games for the Czech Republic.
Panik fits the requirements for one of the players the Wings must expose in the July 21 expansion draft.
Contact Helene St. James at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.