The Free Press’s Helene St. James makes an interesting argument, suggesting that the Red Wings have “held onto their picks” since 2013, and as such, essentially began the rebuilding process during the Bertuzzi-and-Mantha draft:
In 2013, the Detroit Red Wings began a change in direction.
After trading away first-round picks in three of the previous five seasons, Wings general manager Ken Holland held onto his first selection in the NHL entry draft. The Wings had qualified for the playoffs for a 22nd consecutive season that spring, but a side effect of that success was a farm system low on talent. A need to replenish was in order.
The draft has continued to grow in emphasis for the Wings, to the point they made 11 picks in 2017 and hold 11 picks again, including four in the top 36, in 2018.
Here is the first in a five-part series looking back at how Wings draft selections have panned out. In this edition: The class of 2013.
As St. James notes, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi and Mattias Janmark, who plays for Dallas, were the Wings’ swings-and-hits of the 2013 draft, with David Pope still a question mark…
But the fact that the Red Wings dumped Janmark and Calle Jarnkrok in separate trades in 2015, to acquire Erik Cole and David Legwand, still sticks in my craw. I would argue that the Wings didn’t “begin the rebuild” until after that trade was made.