Red Wings Select Defenseman Shai Buium With the 36th Overall Pick

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After trading up to the 36th overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, the Detroit Red Wings selected defenseman Shai Buium.

At  6-foot-3 and 214 pounds, Buium is another large body to add to Detroit’s blue line. He’s the second left shot defenseman taken by Detroit in the draft, which means the questions on the left side of the blue line seem to finally be answered.

Buium went from prep school to the USHL this season. At Shattuck St. Mary’s, he scored two goals and 11 assists in 17 games. With the Sioux City Musketeers, he nabbed four goals and 22 assists in 50 games. Next season, he’ll continue his development at the University of Denver.

Buium is a defenseman with some two-way upside. He’s been mocked as high as the first round and as low as the third/fourth. Here’s what  the Athletic’s Corey Pronman, who had him ranked as his 40th prospect, had to say about him:

Buium kept progressing as the season went along, becoming an important part of a good USHL team by the end. Buium is a big defenseman with a high skill level. He has the stickhandling ability and creativity to inside-out checkers often off the rush or by making attacks off the offensive blue line. He has decent offensive instincts as a playmaker to find seams and make a first pass, although that aspect can be inconsistent in his game.

However, there are some concerns about Buium’s skating and agility to effectively transition his game to higher levels of play. The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler had him slotted in as his 84th prospect:

 He’s got work to do to improve his shot, develop his quickness, and add a bit more of a physical element, but he’s a strong outlet passer who plays a calculating game on both sides of the puck. I think there will be more defensive value to his game long-term than offensive value (he swallows up the neutral zone and breaks up a lot of plays inside his own zone without needing to be physical) but there’s enough skill to his game to contribute at both ends.

According to the Denver Post, Colorado had interest in Buium with pick 28.

Just a few weeks ago, GM Steve Yzerman had three second round picks in the 2021 NHL Draft. But after using one in the Nick Leddy trade and one to move up in the first round to select Sebastian Cossa. The Red Wings were left with just one draft pick in round two.

The Red Wings used their second fourth round pick to move up from 38th to 36th.

The Yzerplan seems to be taking shape. After the massive swings. taken in round one, it seems Yzerman has done it again. Buium is a risk, as his future with the organization is dependent on his ability to transition his game to higher levels of play. It’ll be a few years before this pick can really be properly judged.

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