Red Wings Mock Draft 3.0: All 7 Rounds & Trades

The Hockey Writers

It’s crunch time for the Detroit Red Wings. And with the 2023 NHL Draft around the corner, there’s time for one last mock draft before the real deal.

2023 NHL Entry Draft Guide Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli Banner

This time, we’re covering all seven rounds and considering trade opportunities. To do this, we’ll use Draft Prospects Hockey’s mock draft simulator. Let’s get started!

9. C Dalibor Dvorsky – AIK (HockeyAllsvenskan)

I’ve advocated for Dalibor Dvorsky many times in the last few months, and today’s mock draft is no different. 

Potential Detroit Red Wings draft pick Dalibor Dvorsky
Dalibor Dvorsky skating for Team Slovakia. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Even though he’s one of the youngest players in the 2023 draft, Dvorsky is one of the most complete. He can be a driver offensively or serve as the finisher on a line. He can play center or wing, and can be trusted defensively regardless of where he lines up. Dvorsky is the real deal – he has the skill set and drive to reach his ceiling as a top-line forward. He would be a steal for the Red Wings if he falls to No. 9.

17. LW Colby Barlow – Owen Sound (OHL)

It came down to Colby Barlow or Tom Willander at No. 17. I ultimately chose the former for two reasons. First, Barlow’s goal-scoring abilities are undeniable. And second, the 2024 draft will be loaded with quality defensemen, so it’s fine to wait a year to use a first-round pick on a blueliner.

Related: Red Wings 2023 NHL Draft Preview: 10 Picks to Build a Bright Future

Back to Barlow, the 6-foot-1 forward is the pure finisher that the Red Wings organization desperately needs. He’s also a high-character team leader who plays a 200-foot game – which, of course, fits in well with the culture Yzerman is building in Detroit.

Red Wings Trade: Help at Right Defense

Just like last year, the Red Wings are trading their No. 73 pick before the start of Day 2. This time, it’s to the Calgary Flames for right defenseman Chris Tanev.

Tanev is entering the final year of his contract and comes with a $4.5 million cap hit. In acquiring the veteran defenseman, the Red Wings get out ahead of the free agency period and address a major organizational need. A stout defensive defenseman, Tanev would be a great mentor and defense partner for Simon Edvinsson.

41. C/LW Anton Wahlberg – Malmö (SHL)

I was hoping to grab Jayden Perron and/or William Whitelaw in the second round, but both were off the board by the time the draft rolled around to No. 41. This isn’t a problem, though – Anton Wahlberg is an excellent consolation prize.

“Anton Wahlberg is a bit of a raw prospect, with all the physical tools in the world and lots of questions around if he will be able to put them all together. He’s a big center with good skating and hands, but his decision making is suspect. Teams with a recent track record of developing more raw prospects (Detroit with William Wallinder, Buffalo with Tage Thompson, etc.) feel like the most likely landing spots for him should he go in the second round.”

Logan Horn, THW’s Director of Prospect Coverage

42. RD Maxim Strbak – Sioux Falls (USHL)

Okay, now it’s time to draft a defenseman, and Maxim Strbak is the best available at No. 42. There’s a possibility he will be gone by this point when the NHL holds their actual draft in Nashville later this month, but that was not the case for my mock draft.

Strbak checks all the boxes of being a Red Wings pick. He’s a rangy, mobile blueliner with good hockey sense. He plays a two-way game – Strbak was counted on in defensive situations for Slovakia in the U18 World Championship and also quarterbacked their power play. In addition, he played the 2022-23 season in the USHL, where the Red Wings scout heavily.

Related: Red Wings 2023 Draft Coverage


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The talent is there to warrant a second-round selection. Plus, he’ll be close by next year in East Lansing – Strbak committed to play for Michigan State.

Red Wings Trade: Moving Back

After trading their third-round pick to Calgary, the Red Wings move back from No. 43 to add another third. The trade sends No. 43 to the Seattle Kraken for No. 57 and No. 84.

57. RW Coulson Pitre – Flint (OHL)

A teammate—and often linemate—of Amadeus Lombardi with the Flint Firebirds, Coulson Pitre is an underrated forward prospect who could develop into an effective NHLer. His above-average compete level and skating are his notable attributes, as are his soft hands around the net.

Potential Detroit Red Wings draft pick Coulson Pitre
Could Coulson Pitre join Amadeus Lombardi in the Red Wings organization? (Natalie Shaver/OHL Images)

Given his connection to Lombardi and playing nearby in Flint, it’s safe to assume that Red Wings scouts have seen him quite a bit this season. No. 57 may be a little early for Pitre, but he fits the profile of recent Red Wings picks. Plus, Kris Draper has shown a willingness to draft players ahead of their public scouting rankings if they’re a good fit, which Pitre certainly is.

84. RW Connor Levis – Kamloops (WHL)

Kamloops forward Connor Levis has the makings of an intriguing power forward. He’s still a bit raw, but his pace, vision, and puck protection skills are noteworthy.

Potential Detroit Red Wings draft pick Connor Levis of the Kamloops Blazers
Connor Levis celebrating after a Kamloops Blazers goal. (Candice Ward/CHL)

“Levis is a good-sized winger with strong puck skills and vision,” noted Corey Pronman of The Athletic (from “2023 NHL Draft ranking: Connor Bedard leads Corey Pronman’s tiers of the top 142 prospects”, The Athletic, 5/30/23). “Inside the offensive zone and on the power play he’s able to create for himself and his teammates because of his strong hands and vision. He has a decent shot but is more of a pass-first type of wing.”

117. RW Felix Unger Sörum – Leksands (J20 Nationell)

Another player on the younger side of the 2023 draft class, Felix Unger Sörum is an above-average playmaker who has some bite to his game. The 5-foot-11 winger can also play a defensive role if called upon.

Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide

There’s a good chance he’s selected before the fourth round, but it’s not impossible for him to fall to No. 117. That said, Unger Sörum isn’t a finished product. He still needs time to develop into a well-rounded player, rather than being a one- or two-trick pony.

137. C Cole Knuble – Fargo (USHL)

After attending Detroit’s development camp in 2022, might Cole Knuble be back as one of the organization’s 2023 draft picks? Knuble has improved his skating and puck-handling in the last year, and continues to be effective in the dirty areas. He had a fantastic 2022-23 season for the Fargo Force, scoring 30 goals and producing 66 points in 57 games. There’s a future in which Knuble develops into a depth NHLer – he’s headed to Notre Dame in the fall where he can continue to refine his game.

169. RD Sam Court – Brooks (AJHL)

Drafting right defenseman Sam Court in the sixth round would give the Red Wings more blue line depth. He’s on the smaller side (5-foot-10) and is an overager, but Court’s offensive abilities (72 points in 52 AJHL games) help him stand out as a potential hidden gem. He’s committed to New Hampshire where he’ll be able to develop for at least four years before the Red Wings need to decide whether or not they’ll sign him.

201. G Ruslan Khazheyev – Chelyabinsk (MHL)

To close out the mock, I have the Red Wings taking a flier on Russian goalie Ruslan Khazheyev. The 6-foot-4 netminder ranked ninth among international goalies in Central Scouting’s final rankings for 2023.

Final Word

In this mock draft, the Red Wings addressed their two highest priorities – adding goal-scoring forwards and right defensemen. In addition, several later round picks have the potential to develop into NHLers.

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