The Red Wings Time is Now; Should the Red Wings Move Up in the Draft?

Octopus Thrower

The Detroit Red Wings are in the late stages of their rebuild. With them currently holding the eighth overall pick in the 2022 NHL entry draft, their chances of obtaining a future star is decreased. Of course, that’s an overstatement, but if the Red Wings were to get their second-line star center at pick eight, things will be looking up heading into the coming seasons.

The almost sure-fire first overall pick this year is center, Shane Wright. Wright, who is currently playing with Kingstown in the OHL, has been one of the more sought after prospects for the last couple years. The Red Wings are more than likely not going to be in a position to take him in the NHL draft, but there is another top option for the Wings.

Looking into the Red Wings future, there is a lot of talent and I do not question that Joe Veleno could become a second-line center at some point. In contrast to that statement, as of right now, that position needs some work as for he has yet to show he can play top line minutes and produce in said minutes.

Being able to move up in the draft is going to be hard and extremely controversial. But, potentially moving up to take either Shane Wright or Logan Cooley should be at least considered you’d think- right? However, many people, including myself, don’t know if this is the right move for the Red Wings. It could potentially be the move they need to do to make the jump we’ve all been expecting the past couple of seasons, or it could be the move that sets us back in the rebuild.

Case for the Red Wings Moving Up

The Red Wings saw some big jumps in the late parts of the season from Michael Rasmussen and Joe Veleno, but are we comfortable playing either of them in the top six? I’m not. I need to see more from them if they want to play in the top six.

Pius Suter clearly was not the solution in the top six either. I mean, maybe the style of play that former head coach, Jeff Blashill, ran didn’t fit his style but nonetheless, it wasn’t pretty. Moving forward they will need to be more deeper at the center position and if they move up to acquire a top pick in the draft to take Wright or Cooley, they will almost undoubtedly get that.

Now, why would we have to move up to get somebody? Why can’t we stay put and keep everything the way it is? Well, look at how many players we have on the wing. The answer is: a lot. They can spare some players if it means being able to move up in the draft and get a future star at the position that feels like is holding this team back.

Case Against the Red Wings Moving Up

There will be a lot moving parts this off-season. So, let’s play the hypothetical game for a minute: If the Red Wings were to look to make a move for the first overall pick, what would it look like?

That question is exactly what would keep this team put at the draft. Despite having a lot of depth that they could spare, it’s very likely that they would want to do so. Especially because it’s unlikely that the player you take, even if it is Shane Wright, could be a top six forward in his first season. That’s not realistic. I mean, it generally takes a year or two for the player to really start making an impact for their respective teams.

Mock Trade

Canadiens Get

2022: 8th Overall Pick

Filip Zadina

Gustav Lindstrom

Red Wings Get

2022: 1st Overall Pick

This is a mock trade that I just drew up. If this trade were to hypothetically go through, would you do it?

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