The Detroit Red Wings’ amateur and pro scouts are meeting in Detroit this weekend and upcoming week to map out a master plan for the draft and free agency (in terms of both which players the team will re-sign and which players the team will target come July 1st).
As you might expect, the Red Wings are placing a special emphasis on the 2018 draft in Dallas, as the Free Press’s Helene St. James reports:
General manger Ken Holland and director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright are among the dozen hockey operations personnel immersed in five days of meetings that began Saturday as the Wings prepare for the 2018 NHL entry draft.
“We’ll talk about all the leagues, all the players, come up with some lists and rankings and then go into the combine,” Holland said. “Then we’ll have all our area scouts continue to gather information and interview people about the players who are in their areas. Then the combine is an opportunity to choose who to interview among around 100 players. It all leads to Dallas.”
The Wings hold 11 picks at the June 22-23 event at American Airlines Center. Their first is at sixth overall, and there’ll be three more within the top 36 selections: Las Vegas’ first-round pick from the Tomas Tatar trade, Ottawa’s second round pick (32nd overall) from the Brendan Smith trade (via the New York Rangers) and the Wings’ own second-round pick.
The Wings need a high-end defense prospect, but the first pick won’t come down to position.
“At sixth, we’ll look for the best available player, the one we believe will make the biggest impact on our team,” Holland said. “But certainly, we’re trying to build a defense over time through the draft.”