Post-draft mishmash: from Zadina to Kivenmaki, plus multimedia

Updated 2x at 4:33 PM: Of Red Wings-related note regarding the following prospects:

A. Forward Filip Zadina, taken 6th overall:

The Free Press’s Helene St. James suggests that Zadina could “boost the Wings’ rebuild“:

“Zadina at sixth for us was a little bit of a shock,” he said. “We need to score goals. We need offensive players. Our power play has got to get better. He’s a guy that has the ability to win hockey games because he’s got that offensive ability. He finds a way to score in different ways. His No. 1 attribute that we think that he can bring is high-end skill.”

Whether he can help the Wings right away will become clearer at training camp, but Wright said Zadina will get “every opportunity” to do so. Perhaps he could be a fit with Henrik Zetterberg, similar to how the veteran center helped Dylan Larkin flourish in his rookie year. Perhaps Zadina could be a fit with Larkin, creating a high-flying, creative duo. The Wings need somebody who can win games, and that’s in Zadina’s skill set.

More: Wings should get needed help on power play from Dan Bylsma

“We’re ecstatic to tell the truth,” Wright said. “Our theme going into this, we were going after skill and he checked all the boxes. We watched him very close all year. We tried to pick him apart — how creative is he, how good is his hockey sense? We kept coming back time after time and he just wasn’t a one-trick pony that just would score. He’s got good hockey sense. He creates plays. He’s a good character kid. He competes. He kills penalties. Scores in different ways. He’s got a good release. Just a very good overall offensive hockey player.”


Michigan Hockey also posted a clip of Tyler Wright discussing Zadina:


B. Center Joe Veleno, picked 30th overall: See the attached player thread.

C. Right wing Jonatan Berggren, picked 33rd overall:

MLive’s Ansar Khan combined an article about Berggren and defenseman Jared McIsaac:

Berggren (5-10, 181), selected 33rd overall, was the third consecutive forward Detroit selected in this year’s draft. He collected 18 goals and 39 assists in 57 games with Skelleftea Juniors and no points in 10 games with Skelleftea’s men’s team. He shoots left.

Red Wing report said of Berggren: “Was Sweden’s best and most dangerous forward at the World U-18 Championships, easily leading the team with 10 points. Ultra-quick feet and always keeps them moving. Plenty of slick moves, dangerous off the rush and has an inside-out move that makes defenders look silly. Very good lateral agility and makes all of his moves at top speed. Likes to drive wide with speed and then cut in quickly. Has a hard snap shot that he gets off quickly and locates really well. Likes to play in traffic and finishes checks. Smallish but plays feisty and is quite stocky, with a low center of gravity that makes him hard to hit cleanly. Slick in the corners with head feints that create separation. Excellent at breaking up plays and making quick-strike counterattacks. Makes a lot of nice little set-up feeds. Makes a legitimate effort in the defensive end and sacrifices his body along the wall to clear the zone.”

Here’s RotoWire on Berggren:

Berggren was drafted 33rd overall by the Red Wings at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday.

Berggren really put himself on the map with an excellent showing in the World U18’s and boosted his draft stock considerably. Berggren has a boatload of offensive ability and he was an unstoppable offensive force in the Swedish junior league, so there is plenty to be excited about moving forward. The shifty Swede needs to pack a considerable amount of weight onto his lean frame, but this pick was a smart, calculated risk by the Red Wings at this point in the draft. Detroit will have to be patient with Berggren. It’s going to be several years before they are rewarded.

The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan also spoke with Berggren:

Berggren had several meetings with the Wings during the NHL Combine, but wasn’t sure he’d be picked by the organization.

“It was a shock, amazing,” Berggren said in Dallas. “Detroit is one of the my favorite clubs. It’s amazing.”

Berggren said he plays with speed, and one of his favroite players is Edmonton star Connor McDavid — a player with all sorts of skills and speed.

Berggren is excited to be part of the Red Wings’ rebuild.

“To have a new start now, it’ll be fun to be part of it,” Berggren said.

The Red Wings posted a video of Berggren’s comments…

The Detroit News’s Tom Gromak posted a clip of Berggren’s comments as well:

D. Defenseman Jared McIsaac, picked 36th overall:

Here’s RotoWire on McIsaac:

McIsaac was drafted 36th overall by the Red Wings at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday.

The biggest question surrounding McIsaac is whether or not he has enough offensive ability to make up for the mental lapses that creep into his game all too frequently. And while he’s a strong skater, McIsaac could stand to use his mobility to his advantage more than he does. He’s a pretty good passer, but he doesn’t have a huge shot and he doesn’t project as your traditional power play quarterback. If the mistakes subside, then the Wings could have a potential second-pairing defender on their hands. If they don’t, McIsaac will be difficult to count on for major minutes at the professional level.’s Dana Wakiji spoke with McIsaac:

With the 36th pick, their second in the second round, Detroit took defenseman Jared McIsaac from the Halifax Mooseheads.

“Definitely worth the wait. Very surreal moment,” McIsaac said. “A lot of family with me here this week, owe it to them. I felt in Buffalo I had a really good meeting. I think they were my first meeting of the week. And then I went to supper with Detroit two days later. I had a pretty good feeling come today it might be Detroit but like I said, I’m very happy.”

McIsaac was a teammate of Kadina’s in Halifax.

“Obviously Filip is a generational talent, there’s not many goal scorers like him,” McIsaac said. “Very happy for him and then to be able to be drafted by the same team is very special. Just the family aspect of this, as much as it’s for me, it’s for my family, too. I’m very proud.”

McIsaac said practicing against Zadina every day and against last year’s first overall pick, Nico Hischier, has helped his own development.

“He challenges you,” McIsaac said of Zadina. “I try to match up with him as much as possible. Being able to play and practice with him and Nico Hischier last year and Filip last year and all the other great players we have in Halifax, it’s pretty tough but I enjoy the challenge. I look forward to coming to the rink every day with those guys in Halifax.”

The Red Wings posted a clip of McIsaac’s media remarks…

And the Free Press’s Helene St. James posted a clip of McIsaac and O’Reilly’s remarks…

As did the Detroit News’s Gromak:

McIsaac spoke with the Halifax Chronicle-Herald’s Willy Pavlov, too:

Jared McIsaac is joining Filip Zadina in the Motor City and Bo Groulx is headed to Disneyland.

The Detroit Red Wings picked Truro’s McIsaac early in the second round (36th overall) of the NHL draft in Dallas on Saturday and the Anaheim Ducks selected Groulx 18 slots later (54th overall). The Wings took Zadina sixth overall on the first day of the draft on Friday and goalie Alexis Gravel was also taken in the sixth round (162nd overall) by the Chicago Blackhawks to give the Halifax Mooseheads four selections at the two-day event.

“It was definitely worth the wait,” McIsaac said by phone from Dallas. “It was pretty stressful last night (Friday) but I didn’t have to wait that long today so that was nice. I had a pretty good idea Detroit was fairly interested and it just happened to work out.”

“(Filip) was here today and I saw him up in the (luxury) box after,” he added. “It’s cool that we ended up on the same team. We got to be pretty close friends this year and he’s obviously a great player and a great person as well.”

E. Defenseman Alec Regula, picked 67th overall:

Here’s RotoWire on Regula:

Regula was drafted 67th overall by the Red Wings at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday.

Originally committed to the University of Michigan, Regula, a Michigan native, decided to play for OHL London instead. He ended up making the OHL All-Rookie Team as a 17-year-old this past season. Regula filled a larger role for the Knights than anyone could have reasonably expected at the start of the year and the results were positive. He lacks offensive upside and he needs to put on muscle, but Regula is a smart, responsible defender that plays within his limitations. There is zero fantasy upside with this selection, but it was a wise choice by Detroit.

MLive’s Ansar Khan also weighed in

The Red Wings took defenseman Alec Regula (6-4, 203) of West Bloomfield with the 67th pick. He had seven goals and 18 assists in 67 games for the OHL London Knights.

Regula’s father, C.J., was a longtime team dentist for the Red Wings.

Red Line Report said of Regula: “Underrated sleeper has come a long way this season. Big, rangy blue-liner with a long stick. Moves very well in all four directions and is quite mobile for a tall, gangly kid. Excellent gap control. Uses his outstanding size and strength to keep checks to the outside or tie them up legally in front of net. Makes the easy first pass to clear the defensive zone. Not flashy but highly effective. Doesn’t focus much energy on the offensive zone, but actually makes intelligent plays showing some creativity when he gets there. Just starting to gain confidence in the offensive end, and there’s still plenty of untapped potential. Willing to handle the puck and carry it out of own end when he doesn’t see a good outlet. Does a great job on the penalty kill getting into shooting lanes to block shots and uses his long reach to tip passes/deflect shots.”

And the Free Press’s Helene St. James spoke with Regula

How can he potentially help the Wings down the road?

“I’m a big defenseman, two-way, I think I can play a 200-foot game and I’m really reliable,” Regula said. “I think I can play against other teams’ top lines, and I think as I grow I think I can really grow into a good role with the Wings.”

Regula already has size on his side: He’s 6-foot-4, 203 pounds. He had seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points in 67 games with London in the Ontario Hockey League last season.

Regula, who lives in West Bloomfield, said he went to bed on Friday dreaming about what played out on Saturday.

“I saw the Wings had a lot of picks in the third round and that’s kind of where my territory was,” Regula said. “So I was thinking, maybe, and then when we there, they waited a while in that 3 minutes. I didn’t know what they were going to do. They were talking a lot. When I was picked, it was a sigh of relief. No words.”

As did Michigan Hockey:

The Free Press’s Helene St. James posted a clip of Regula’s remarks, too…

As did Gromak…

The Wings posted a clip of Regula speaking with the media, too:

F. Defenseman Seth Barton, picked 81st overall:

RotoWire weighed in

Barton was drafted 81st overall by the Red Wings at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday.

This is an odd selection by Detroit. Barton, the #94 ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting, has an impressive frame (6-foot-3, 175 pounds) and has displayed a decent scoring touch (33 points in 49 games) in the BCHL, but few had him ranked as a mid-third-round prospect. Barton is a 2019-20 commit to UMass-Lowell, so it’s going to be quite a while before we can get a grasp on his potential long-term ceiling.

As did the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:

Seth Barton

Pick: No. 81 overall (Round 3)

Position: Defenseman

Height/weight: 6-foot-3, 174 pounds

Last season: Trail (BCHL) 49 games, 6 goals, 27 assists, 33 points.

Scouting report: Considered one of the better defensemen to come out of the British Columbia league, many scouts have compared Barton, a right-handed shot, to Chicago’s Brent Seabrook. Barton is committed to UMass-Lowell next year.

G. Goaltender Jesper Eliasson, picked 84th overall:

Here’s RotoWire:

Eliasson was drafted 84th overall by the Red Wings at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday.

Detroit continues to add high-upside, long-term projects to their goaltending prospect pool. Much like Keith Petruzzelli, Detroit’s third-round pick in 2017, Eliasson has a ton of size (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) and moves well. His play in his native Sweden has been up and down and he will face better competition this coming season when he joins the Vaxjo program. Fantasy owners can ignore Eliasson for the foreseeable future.

H. Forward Ryan O’Reilly, drafted 98th overall:

MLive’s Ansar Khan posted a “blurb” about O’Reilly

The Detroit Red Wings selected right wing Ryan O’Reilly in the fourth round of the NHL entry draft Saturday at American Airlines Center, right in his hometown.

O’Reilly (6-2, 201) is a Dallas native who played Pee Wee hockey in Detroit.

He had 21 goals and 34 points in 45 games for Madison (USHL) last season. He will attend the University of Denver, where he’ll be joined by Red Wings goaltending prospect Filip Larsson.

As did the Free Press’s Helene St. James:

With Pick No. 98, the Wings took forward Ryan O’Reilly, a native of nearby Southland, Texas. The 18-year-old is committed to play college hockey at Denver. Standing 6-2 and weighing 201 pounds, O’Reilly played for Madison of the USHL last season, compiling 21 goals and 13 assists in 45 games.

O’Reilly shares his name with the Buffalo Sabres forward who was a finalist for the Lady Bing Trophy last season.

The Wings posted a clip of O’Reilly’s remarks…

And the Detroit News’s Gromak posted one as well:


I. The Red Wings traded their 159th overall pick to Columbus, who chose Swiss defenseman Tim Berni…

J. And K. So the Red Wings drafted goaltender Victor Brattstrom 160th overall, and diminutive forward Otto Kivenmaki 191st overall.

MLive’s Ansar Khan wrote a brief article about both players:

The Detroit Red Wings selected 6-5 goaltender Victor Brattstrom (Timra Jr., Sweden) in the sixth round (160th overall) in Saturday’s NHL entry draft at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Brattstrom posted a 1.93 goals-against average and .918 save percentage, with three shutouts, in 15 games for Timra Jr. At 21, he was the oldest player selected to that point in the draft.

He is the second goalie Detroit selected, after taking fellow Swede Jesper Eliasson in the third round (No. 84).

Detroit traded its sixth-round pick at 159 to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a fifth-round selection in 2019.

The Red Wings wrapped up the draft by taking center Otto Kivenmaki of Assat Jr. (Finland) in the seventh round (191). He’s listed at 5-8 and 137 pounds.

Kivenmaki shoots left and had 11 goals and 26 assists in 37 games for Assat.

Edit/update: Here’s the Wings’ second-day press release:

… Three Forwards, Three Defensemen and Two Goaltenders Added by Detroit in Dallas …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today drafted eight players during the second day of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The Red Wings began the day with two picks in the second round, selecting right wing Jonatan Berggren (33rd overall) and defenseman Jared McIsaac (36th overall) before selecting three times in the third round: defenseman Alec Regula (67th overall), defenseman Seth Barton (81st overall) and goaltender Jesper Eliasson (84th overall). With their fourth-round pick, and eighth pick within the top-100 of the draft, Detroit chose right wing Ryan O’Reilly (98th overall). The final two rounds of the draft saw Detroit select goaltender Victor Brattstrom (160th overall) and center Otto Kivenmaki (191st overall).

Detroit’s first selection of the day came with the second pick of the second round (33rd overall), acquired from the New York Rangers in a trade for Brendan Smith on Feb. 28, 2017, and the Red Wings selected right wing Jonatan Berggren, a 17-year-old winger from Uppsala, Sweden. Berggren has spent the last three seasons in Skelleftea’s system, leading the Swedish under-20 league with 57 points (18-39-57) in 38 games. He also made his professional debut by playing in 10 games for Skelleftea in the Swedish Hockey League. The 5-foot-10, 181-pound forward captured bronze with Sweden twice internationally in 2017-18, pacing the team during the 2018 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with 10 points (5-5-10) in seven games, which tied for third in the tournament, and picking up five points (3-2-5) in five games at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. In 67 career games for Skelleftea’s under-20 team, Berggren has registered 69 points (24-45-69), while adding 140 points (67-73-140) in 109 games at the under-18 level for Enkopings and Skelleftea since 2013-14.

Three picks later (36th overall), the Red Wings selected defenseman Jared McIsaac, who was a teammate of both of Detroit’s first-round picks – Filip Zadina (sixth overall) with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Halifax Mooseheads and Joe Veleno (30th overall) at various international tournaments for Hockey Canada. In 65 games for Halifax during the 2017-18 campaign, McIsaac led the team’s defensemen and ranked seventh overall with 47 points (9-38-47) in 65 games, which also tied for 10th among QMJHL defensemen. McIsaac has skated two seasons with Halifax, totaling 79 points (13-66-79), a plus-21 rating and 146 penalty minutes in 124 games. He earned a spot on the 2017 QMJHL All-Rookie Team and won the Raymond Lagace Trophy as QMJHL Defensive Rookie of the Year. McIsaac has also played extensively on the international level for Canada, totaling five points (1-4-5) in 10 games at the 2017 (winning gold) and 2018 IIHF World Under-18 Championships. That marked his first gold medal for Canada, which he added to at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament with three points (1-2-3) in five games.

With the first of three third-round picks, the Red Wings selected West Bloomfield, Mich., native and defenseman Alec Regula (67th overall). Regula earned a spot on the Ontario Hockey League’s First All-Rookie team in 2017-18, in which he skated for the London Knights and produced 25 points (7-18-25), placing 10th on the team in scoring and second among defensemen. Prior to joining the Knights, the 6-foot-4, 203-pound blueliner spent one season in the United States Hockey League for the Chicago Steel, picking up five points (1-4-5) and eight penalty minutes in 53 games. Regula attended Cranbrook Schools in West Bloomfield, capturing a Michigan high school state championship in 2015. Regula’s father, Chet, worked as the Red Wings’ team dentist for 29 years and currently serves in the same capacity for the NFL’s Detroit Lions.

Detroit’s next pick, acquired from Philadelphia in a trade for Petr Mrazek in 2017-18, was defenseman Seth Barton (81st overall), a 6-foot-3, 179-pound blueliner who spent the season with the Trail Smoke Eaters of the British Columbia Hockey League. In 49 regular-season games for Trail, Barton posted 33 points (6-27-33) and 32 penalty minutes, adding 11 points (3-8-11) in 16 postseason games. A native of Kelowna, British Columbia, Barton appeared for Canada West at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge and earned two assists in five games. During the 2016-17 campaign, Barton racked up 38 points (11-27-38) in 35 games for the Okanagan Rockets in the British Columbia midget-major circuit, debuting for the Nanaimo Clippers in the BCHL with two games played. Barton, 18, is slated to attend the University of Massachusetts-Lowell starting in 2019-20.

At 84th overall, a pick acquired in the trade which sent Riley Sheahan to Pittsburgh, the Red Wings drafted goaltender Jesper Eliasson. Eliasson split the 2017-18 campaign between the under-18 and under-20 teams for IF Troja-Ljungby. He ranked statistically among the top goaltenders at the under-20 level, placing fifth with a 0.930 save percentage and sixth with a 1.93 goals-against average. He was also named the best goaltender in the under-18 league, leading the circuit in save percentage for the second-straight season (0.946). Born in Eksjo, Sweden, the 6-foot-3, 209-pound netminder debuted for his national team at the 2018 Five Nations Tournament in Plymouth, Mich., posting a 3.00 goals-against average and 0.878 save percentage in two games, and the 2018 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, sporting a 3.00 goals-against average and 0.884 save percentage in one appearance. He is slated to start the 2018-19 season with the Vaxjo Lakers’ under-20 team.

With their fourth-round pick (98th overall), Detroit selected Ryan O’Reilly, an 18-year-old winger from Southlake, Texas, who was drafted in his hometown rink as a former product of the Dallas Stars youth hockey organization. O’Reilly spent the 2017-18 season with the USHL’s Madison Capitols, ranking among the team’s leaders with 21 goals (2nd) and 34 points (7th), while picking up only eight penalty minutes in 45 games. He was also second in goals and eighth in points among league rookies, earning USHL All-Rookie Second-Team honors. The 6-foot-2, 201-pound winger also spent a year in metro Detroit, playing for the Little Caesars AAA Hockey Club in 2013-14. O’Reilly was acquired by the reigning USHL-champion Fargo Force on May 7 and is committed to the University of Denver for the 2019-20 season.

Detroit originally held back-to-back picks in the sixth round, but traded the 159th overall selection to Columbus in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. With the 160th pick, the Red Wings tabbed goaltender Victor Brattstrom, a 21-year-old goaltender who spent the 2017-18 season playing professionally for Timra IK in the Swedish Allsvenskan, the second-highest professional league in Sweden. Brattstrom was statistically among the top goaltenders in the league as a first-year pro, sporting a 1.93 goals-against average (2nd) and a 0.919 save percentage (T6th). The 6-foot-5, 198-pound native of Goteborg, Sweden, led the Swedish junior-league in save percentage (0.935) over 31 games in 2016-17. Prior to that, Brattstrom was a member of Frolunda HC’s junior system from 2012-16, leading the under-18 league in save percentage in 2013-14. Brattstrom helped Timra earn a promotion to the Swedish Hockey League for 2018-19.

The Red Wings’ eighth pick of the day and 10th pick of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft was center Otto Kivenmaki, who competed in the Finnish junior league in 2017-18 for Assat’s under-20 club. Kivenmaki scored at a point-per-game pace for Assat with a team-leading 37 points (11-26-37) in 37 games and was honored as the Rookie of the Month in November. In 2016-17, the 5-foot-8, 154-pound 18-year-old helped Assat’s under-20 team to a second-place league finish with nine points (3-6-9) in 29 regular-season games. Kivenmaki hails from Pori, Finland, and his father, Marko, played professionally in Norway and Finland from 1996-2011.

Update #2: Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff weighs in:

81. Seth Barton, D, Trail (BCHL)
Considered to be a smart, cool blueliner with a bit of a physical edge to his game. Barton comes from the same Tier II junior league that produced fellow defenseman Dennis Cholowski, Detroit’s 2016 first round pick. He’s committed to play NCAA for UMass-Lowell in 2019-20.

Barton is the one defender in this draft that the Wings hope can evolve into a skilled puckhandler and distributor.

“He’s another late bloomer type defenseman,” Wright said. “A very good skater. Good size, good puck moving defenseman.”

84. Jesper Eliasson, G, Troja-Ljungby Jr. (Sweden)
The first of two Swedish netminders drafted by the Wings, big things happen for Eliasson involving Michigan. He made his national team debut for Sweden in a February international tournament at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, and now he’s a Red Wing. Amazingly, he’s advanced all the way up the ladder to NHL prospect without ever working with a full-time goaltending instructor. A big, mobile netminder, he’ll also change teams and play for Vaxjo next season.

“We have a goalie scout from Sweden who did a lot of research,” Andersson said. “He knows goalies more than I do. He thinks they’re talented and they have great worth ethic. So we’re hoping we got two really good goalie prospects.”

Update #3: Here’s the Oakland Press’s Pat Caputo on the Wings’ draft haul:

Make no mistake – the center piece is Zadina. He is capable of being the most significant first-round draft pick by any franchise in this town since Matthew Stafford by the Lions in 2009.

His upside is probably more so than 2017’s No. 1 overall pick Nico Hischier of the New Jersey Devils.

The early part of the draft showed the value of centers. Montreal and Phoenix drafted centers in the first round in Jesperi Kotkaniemi (Canadiens) and Barrett Hayton (Coyotes).

But in my opinion, they stretched for those picks. Sure, Quinn Hughes from Michigan and Swede Adam Boqvist are extraordinarily skilled and puck-moving defensemen, but small and therefore present some risk. They were selected by Vancouver and Chicago in the next two picks after Detroit selected Zadina. Evan Bouchard and Noah Dobson are really good, too, and defensemen.

But Zadina had to be the highest player on the Red Wings’ board. I’m shocked he was still there at sixth overall, And it’s not like they don’t need another goal scorer. He will definitely help on the power play and is advanced. Zadina should arrive in the NHL sooner instead of later.

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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.