Red Wings: Yzerman’s Draft Choices Continue to Look Brilliant

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It wasn’t just that the Detroit Red Wings brought back long time Captain Steve Yzerman on April 19, 2019 that made it as exciting as it was. It’s knowing what he’d built that only intensified the hope that the Red Wings would return to their dominant days.

He preached caution. He shrugged off questions or assessments about being a savior. Specifically, when it came to winning again, Yzerman had this to say:

If we follow the process, do our job right, and truthfully, we get a little bit of luck, we’ll get back to where we’re expecting to be.

The irony of course being that the luck part looked to not go in Detroit’s favor.

Until it did.

Yzerman’s Hit Early on His First Round Picks

The Moritz Seider choice is famous for the reaction of the crowd and even Seider himself. Nearly two and a half years later, the only surprise remaining is how he didn’t go higher in the draft. When the Red Wings famously staggered to the league’s worst record in 2019-20 and slipped three spots to the fourth overall pick, fans felt robbed and pundits questioned the fairness of the draft lottery.

In typical Yzerman fashion, he pointed to the mathematical odds, said they’d do their due dilligence, and then went out and grabbed Lucas Raymond.

Just over a year since doing that, Raymond leads all rookies in scoring and it one-two with Seider as Calder favorites. For an even more exciting visual representation:

As if that isn’t enough to Red Wings fans excited, 2021 first round picks Simon Edvinsson and Sebastian Cossa are playing at high levels while later round picks across the board are enjoying good years. Be it Elmer Soderblom, Donovan Sebrango, or Albert Johansson, Yzerman continues to stash one good prospect after another in the pipeline.

That doesn’t include former GM Ken Holland’s picks in Jared McIsaac and Jonatan Berggren, both of whom are knocking on the big league door as well.

While the lottery luck certainly hasn’t bounced Detroit’s way, it certainly looks like (knock on wood) its extended itself to development and smart picks with what they did get.

And even then, as my uncle always told me, luck is when hard work and preparation meet.

Of Course, not Everything is Guaranteed

While the early returns have been promising, there will certainly be bumps in the road. No one expects Yzerman to be infallible and there are certainly going to be misses just as there have been the big hits (thus far) that have provided a shining ray of hope with every Seider minute logged on the ice, or any Raymond goal that continues to solidify his case for winning the Calder.

Since he’s taken over, Yzerman has been calm, steadfast, and resolute in his pursuit of returning Detroit to its days of dominance. While not everything will go his way, he’s certainly doubled down on the faith and the hope the Red Wings fan base placed in him upon his hiring.

The Red Wings currently sit 10-9-3, and though no one expects them to be a playoff team, they’ve certainly created more exciting moments this season than the last several combined. Add in the performance of Yzerman’s first two top round picks leading the charge, and it makes it all the more sweeter.

Imagine what it’ll look like if it really does all come together.

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