Detroit — The Red Wings went local with their third-round pick.
They selected forward Carter Mazur, a Jackson native who came up the ranks in the Little Caesars program, with the 70th pick overall, on Saturday.
Mazur (6-foot, 168 pounds) had 20 goals and 24 assists in 47 games with Tri-City in the USHL.
Like second-round pick Shai Buium, Mazur will be attending the University of Denver this fall, along with recent draft pick, defenseman Antti Tuomisto.
“I know Shai from coming in together as the freshman class, he’s actually been my roomate this summer,” Mazur said. “I got to know him well. It’s special that both of us were drafted by the same organization.”
The two are together at a development camp this week.
“He’s a door down,” Mazur said. “We’ve been keeping in touch.”
Mazur grew up a huge Wings fan in Jackson.
“It’s unbelievable,” Mazur said. “The Wings were always my favorite team and being drafted by them, it’s an unreal feeling.”
The Mazur family were at a sports bar when the pick was announced.
“We were watching and I look up and saw my name and I look over and my mom was crying and my dad, and my grandpa was there and he was crying, and just being drafted by your hometown team, especially growing up and playing at Little Caesars Arena, it’s just unbelievable for sure,” Mazur said.
Mazur was coached by Kris Draper, former Wings’ star and current director of amateur scouting, while in the Little Caesars program.
“It’s crazy that it comes full circle,” Mazur said. “He was my coach and now he’s drafting me and it’s surreal. I can’t just put it into words. It’s awesome I’m part of what he’s trying to build in Detroit.”
Mazur’s favorite player growing up was Darren Helm, and it was Draper who helped him secure a signed stick from Helm.
Mazur added almost 30 pounds during the long, pandemic-lengthened offseason, and felt that was a major reason for his offensive outburst this season.
“My season started when the season ended with COVID,” Mazur said. “I was just hitting my stride (when 2020 season ended). I feel I’m a 200-foot player, and when I’m playing physical and attacking the net, that’s when I’m at the top of my game.”
The Wings moved up and traded with Vegas to select Buium, who is a California native.
As a youngster growing up in San Diego, Buium would follow the Red Wings and attend games in Anaheim or Los Angeles when the Wings were in town.
His favorite players were Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom.
On Saturday, Buium became part of the Wings’ organization.
The Red Wings drafted Buium with the 36th pick overall.
“It’s a dream come true, I’m super excited to be part of this organization,” Buium said on a media Zoom call afterward. “Growing up, Detroit was my favorite team when they had Datsyuk and Lidstrom, they were my two favorite players. It’s a dream come true to be drafted by the Red Wings.”
Buium is a mobile, 6-foot-3, 209-pound defenseman who played very well at Shattuck-St. Mary’s (Minnesota), a dominant prep hockey powerhouse, before moving to Sioux City (USHL) this past season, where he had four goals and 22 assists (26 points) in 50 games).
“I loved the compete about it, the competition, and I felt I got more out of me,” Buium said of attending Shattuck-St. Mary’s. “I was able to play well and develop my game there. I really enjoyed it.”
Buium is the son of two Israeli immigrants and lived in San Diego, so it’s not like he came naturally to the sport.
But Buium loved watching his cousin play, gravitated toward hockey, and wanted to play. But his mother Miri, a basketball star in her own right, wasn’t keen on the idea.
“I asked my mom if I could play and she was hesitant, she said no a couple of times,” said Buium, as Miri was bothered by the physicality. “Eventually she said yes, to try it out and thankfully she let me play.
“It is expensive (to play) in California. She never really told me (why she was against it). But I got attracted to hockey and stuck with it. More kids are playing it now, 100%. Kids that go to the high school I went to are playing hockey, and I didn’t know any kids when I went there that played hockey. It’s pretty crazy.”
Buium is a left-shot defenseman who can find gaps on the ice and has progressively gotten better up the junior ranks.
“My strengths are my hockey IQ, I read the game well, and pick my pockets of when to join the rush or stay back,” Buium said. “My game has matured through the years and I’m more of a two-way, offensive defenseman.”
Buium’s younger brother Zeev is going to play for the Plymouth Township-based United States National Development Team under-17 team this season, and the two routinely push each other.
“He’s real talented,” Shai said. “We compete against each other a lot, whether we’re on the ice together or playing street hockey or playing basketball. We compete a lot and try to push each other to get better and that’s what brothers do.”
Buium was thrilled to talk to Wings general manager Steve Yzerman during the interview process.
“He’s a legend, and it was pretty intimidating at first, that’s for sure,” Buium said. “But I’m super excited to be part of this organization.”
The Wings sent their own second-round pick and the second fourth-round pick, which is Tampa Bay’s pick, to the Golden Knights.
Buium was the second defenseman selected by the Wings this weekend, following Simon Edvinsson, who was drafted at No. 6 overall.
In the fourth round, the Wings selected center Redmond Savage with the 114th overall pick.
The Wings traded their pick at 102 to get picks 114 and 155 (fifth round) from Vegas.
Savage is a 5-foot-11, 181-pound center/left wing who played in 68 games combined for the USNTDP, with 28 goals and 34 assists.
An excellent forechecker and on-ice leader, Savage is the son of former NHL player Brian Savage.
The Wings selected Liam Dower Nilsson, a center from Frolunda, in the fifth round. Also in the same round, the Wings selected Oscar Plandowski, a defenseman from Charlottetown of the QMJHL.
With their sixth-round selection, the Wings drafted Pasquale Zito, a left wing from Windor of the Ontario Hockey League.