NHL.com’s draft experts offer suggestions for Wings’ 6th, 31st(?) picks

NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale and Guillaume Lepage offer their takes on the first round of the NHL draft on June 22nd, making triple picks for each and every one of the teams with 1st round picks, including the Red Wings.

The trio expect the Wings to pick either Quinn Hughes or Evan Bouchard at 6th overall…

6. Detroit Red Wings

Kimelman — Quintin Hughes, D, Michigan (BIG10): His ability to control the game far exceeds any questions about his size (5-9, 170). He’s a dazzling skater and puck-handler with a hard, accurate shot from the point. The Red Wings should be able to stay in-state to fill a major organizational need.

Morreale — Evan Bouchard, D, London (OHL): The big (6-2, 193) right-shot defenseman tied for seventh in the OHL with 87 points (25 goals, 62 assists); he’s the first defenseman to finish in the top 10 in the league since Ryan Ellis of Windsor in 2010-11 (101 points, tied for fourth). David Gregory of NHL Central Scouting said Bouchard is “the prototypical new-millennium defenseman” NHL teams want.

Lepage — Hughes: Although he has a few shortcomings, mostly his defensive play, he has the potential to become a star. Red Wings fans will appreciate his on-ice vision and instincts.

And the trio are split into thirds regarding the Wings’ options with the 30th or 31st pick (depending on whether the Vegas Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup):

31. Detroit Red Wings (from Vegas Golden Knights)

Kimelman — [Mattias Samuelsson, D, USA U-18 (USHL)]: After getting the offensive-minded defenseman they need early, it makes sense for the Red Wings to select a big, sound, physically dominant partner for him. Samuelsson likely won’t be a point producer in the NHL, but his offensive game has taken strides, and he’ll further his development next season not far away at Western Michigan University.

Morreale — [Benoit-Olivier Groulx, C, Halifax (QMJHL)]: He had 55 points (28 goals, 27 assists), eight power-play goals and 169 shots on goal in 68 games. Groulx competes hard, has good vision, is strong below the dots and won 50.6 percent of his face-offs. His father, Benoit Groulx, is coach of Syracuse, the Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate.

Lepage — Jacob Olofsson, C, Timra (SWE-2): Olofsson (6-2, 192) had 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 43 games in his first full season against men, in Sweden’s second division. His maturity and his two-way game that draws scouts’ attention.

The mock draft picks reflect the fact that there is little consensus as to how the first round will unfold after the first half-dozen or so picks. It’s a deep draft!

Published by

George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

28 thoughts on “NHL.com’s draft experts offer suggestions for Wings’ 6th, 31st(?) picks”

  1. I will be freaking ecstatic with either Hughes, Bouchard or Boqvist and be super happy with Wahlstrom, Dobson, or Kotkaniemi. Lots of good players to be had.

      1. Hahaha I’ll be simming mine til the next draft tonight to see who all I can draft hahaha. If KH got 2 of them? I’d take back everything I’ve said about him 😉

    1. Same here, I just love his game and he’s so smart with the puck. Very Doughty like to me or even Carlson like in the way he approaches the game. Some thing we desperately need. Hughes too though, his offensive game is exactly what the Wings need on the offensive side. Either of these 2 are picked up by the Wings, I’m super happy. Boqvist concussions are the only thing to turn me off on picking him. Nonetheless probably be just as excited to see him with the wheel too. The draft can’t come soon enough! The last couple of seasons it’s become one of my favorite parts of the year.

      1. can’t wait in 3 yrs for fatty to cry about how Bouchard was called the next doughty lol

        1. Hey Biv. Why don’t you actually join the discussion? Like, why don’t you rank the top 6 guys. So if we could draft anyone, we’d take Dahlin right? So assuming he’s gone, who do you like for us at #2? Go all the way to 6. So just hit reply and type 6 names. We’d all love to see you actually talk hockey instead of trolling me…

        2. He’s already setting it up biv. He started barking the Dobson train as soon as Bouchard got linked to the wings. Once it became seemingly more that Hughes could drop to 6th, now he’s anti-Hughes.

          1. Wow. I wrote the other day that Hughes size was a concern to me. The kid refused to be weighed and measured and tested at the combine. Red flag. And yes I happen to like Dobson more than Bouchard, because I believe Dobson is the better skater. Why is that bad? I’m not allowed to share that I like one prospect more than another? Tough standards here.

          2. You like and share what you want all you want. We obviously aren’t going to stop you. Just noticing a trend is all…you do you buddy, thanks

          3. Combine is definitely over rated.

            Case in point: Hughes is small. We all knew it. But now that we don’t have the combine measurements, all of a sudden the Wings shouldn’t draft him.

            Is there anything more arbitrary than that?

          4. It’s common for teams to exaggerate the size of smaller guys. The combine is an unbiased statement of fact. And often can show progress. Like maybe Hughes gained 10 pounds this year, hmm, that’s promising. As an example, Boqvist was also considered small. But his height is now 5’11.5. This has eased some worries. That’s a decent frame. Hughes appears to be 5’9. Not many guys make it at that size. Krug. Krug. I know. Puts up good offense, but pushed around on defense. So yeah I think some teams were hoping Hughes was successful at adding some bulk. I’m guessing not.

  2. Dobson
    Not Hughes. Not Tkachuk.
    Groulx is an awful pick late in the round. Please no. Samuelson will probably be gone. I could live with Olofsson but you could probably take him with one the 2nds. Would love to see Kupari or Dellandrea slip to #30. Even in the mid-20s it might be worth moving up to grab one of them. Miller and Alexeyev are a couple of big d-men that I think are rising in status. If we go big with Dobson/Bouchard then I’d look hard at Ty Smith if he starts dropping. I think San Jose at #21 is in play. If Smith drops I’d trade all of the picks in the 30s to move up.

    1. My question remains if he will be able to take his skating that so clearly set him apart in the college game and transition to the NHL. Not right away, just in general.

      1. I would think Hughes would become a good player in the NHL. He just doesn’t fit what Detroit is missing on D (now and to come). Speed is nice to have on Defense it’s just not what most people talk about when evaluating good Dmen.

    2. Being from MI should not be the sole reason not the tie breaker.

      If people to not want Green to come back then Bouchard should be on their mind more. He fills most if not all the holes that Green plugged. Hughes, while speedy, is more of what Detroit already has – small, offensive minded.

  3. I think size, while important can be offset with skills. Been a while but I believe Rafalski was < 6ft <200lbs…. what I remember more clearly was that he was pretty good.
    Being small is an issue that should be evaluated, but not by a go/no go test.

  4. Wings have a small defenceman with Joe Hicketts. Why draft another one before seeing if Hick can crack the lineup. They need a big righty immediately. Can’t count on Green even if he does sign with the Wings

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