Detroit — The Red Wings know where they’ll select in the NHL Entry Draft — and it won’t be first.
That was determined Monday, much to the disappointment of Detroit fans as the Wings stayed in the ninth spot — where they were slotted before the draft lottery — and didn’t move up in the draft, per usual like other years.
The Chicago Blackhawks, much to the anger around the NHL, landed the first overall pick and the likelihood of drafting generational talent Connor Bedard.
The only question for the Wings now remains with their second first-round pick, obtained from Vancouver (via the New York Islanders) in the trade that sent Filip Hronek to the Canucks. The Wings will pick either 17th or 18th depending on this round’s playoff series.
But back to the Wings’ own pick, at ninth overall.
The Wings are likely to secure an eventual NHL-caliber player at this spot, especially with what’s being billed as a deep draft.
Still looking to fortify many positions in the organization with top-level prospects, general manager Steve Yzerman and director of amateur scouting Kris Draper will have plenty of quality players to sift through and analyze before the first round of the draft begins June 28 in Nashville.
Here’s a quick look at some of the players the Wings could be eyeing with the ninth overall pick:
▶ Nate Danielson, center, 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, 33 goals, 45 assists, Brandon (WHL): Danielson, on the surface, seems to be the ideal Wings draft pick. He’s considered to be one of the better two-way centers in the draft, with a solid physical build. Danielson’s offensive game took a favorable upward direction this season, especially his passing skills. Some scouts question his overall ceiling, but he sounds like a relatively safe pick who is going to play in the NHL.
▶ Dalibor Dvorsky, center, 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, 16 goals, 19 assists, Slovakia: Might be wishful thinking because many mock drafts have Dvorsky getting plucked anywhere from fifth to eighth, but if he drops to the Wings they’ll be pleased. Dvorsky is a Wings type of player — a guy with leadership skills and a strong two-way center who can definitely supply offense.
▶ Gabriel Perreault, right wing, 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, 53 goals, 79 assists, United States National Team Development Program: Perreault broke some USNTDP scoring records, which is impressive in its own right, displaying sharp passing skills. He’s particularly dangerous on the power play, making the right play consistently. The concern is Perreault needs to get physically stronger. He doesn’t have the elite speed to completely get away being his size.
▶ David Reinbacher, defenseman, 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, three goals, 19 assists, Austria: Reinbacher’s stock has gained strength in recent weeks with his play in Austria. He appears to have a well-rounded game, doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses, and may have the type of ability to make the NHL fairly quickly. He’s very mobile and can make a good outlet pass.
▶ Daniil But, left wing, 6-foot-5, 203 pounds, 15 goals, 11 assists, Loko Yaroslavl (Russia): But is a big guy who can make plays down low, has a big reach, and knows how to finish. As usual with bigger guys, it doesn’t appear his skating or speed is elite yet, and those are two areas where But can get better. There’s also the question of how quickly would he be able to leave Russia?
▶ Zach Benson, left wing, 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, 36 goals, 62 assists, Winnipeg (WHL): Scouts love the fact Benson seems to be always around the puck and can make plays at a high speed. He has great vision on the ice and thinks the game well. A few mock drafts have teams picking Benson before the Wings would even have a chance.
▶ Colby Barlow, left wing, 6-foot, 190 pounds, 46 goals, 33 assists, Owen Sound (OHL): Barlow has definitely shown the ability to score goals and has a strong, pro body. Scouts like Barlow’s versatility, in that he is effective on both the power play and penalty kill, where he’s created offensive opportunities with his skating.
▶ Ryan Leonard, right wing/center, 5-foot-11, 192 pounds, 51 goals, 43 assists, USNTDP: Leonard has played well in big games, and he has a bit of an edge to his game. Leonard may not be the biggest forward, but he doesn’t shy away from contact and has the ability to drive a line making heady plays. How much of a ceiling is debated by scouts, but he would appear to be a safe, quality pick.