Draft combine articles and videos from HSJ and THN + Holland on moving up-or-down

Of draft combine-related note this evening, and in companion with the Free Press’s Helene St. James’ three combine videos:

1. The Free Press’s St. James posted an article in which she discussed the Red Wings’ activities at the combine, which included interviewing 80 players and taking 20 to steak dinners in Buffalo:

This is an important draft for the Wings, who are trying to speed up the rebuilding process. They interviewed 80 players during the combine, and the 20 who received dinner invitations are the ones the Wings expect to be available over the four selections they have between sixth and 36th (Detroit’s first-round pick, Vegas’ first-round pick, Ottawa’s second-round pick and Detroit’s second-round pick).

“We’re going to draft a really good player for the Detroit Red Wings and then let’s be patient, let’s have a plan,” general manager Ken Holland said. “Great if they can play next year, but if they don’t, I don’t know if it really matters. We’re trying to build something.”

St. James continues

The Wings have needs to address, which they’ll focus on with their first four picks.

“Probably more so we’re looking at a D or center over a winger, because we’ve drafted a lot of wingers the last three or four drafts,” Holland said. “Between our first four picks, I’m expecting that one or two of them are going to be defensemen.”

Holland plans to speak with most of his fellow general managers over the coming weeks, and “some of it will be about draft, some about trade possibilities,” he said. “I’m open to working on the phones to see what other people are thinking. We are trying to build a program through the draft to be a really good team. That is going to take time and patience.”

There is a possibility the Wings might fall back to seventh or eighth if the right enticement is offered, but such a deal isn’t likely to materialize until draft night. In 2013, for example, the Wings swapped first-round picks with San Jose, dropping back from 18th to 20th (where they selected Anthony Mantha) and gaining a bonus second round pick (which the Wings used on Tyler Bertuzzi). Holland said the Wings won’t slide out of the top 10.

There’s more, and:

2. If you missed them, St. James posted clips of Wings strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar’s take on the day’s fitness testing

As well as comments from prospects Adam Boqvist, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Oliver Wahlstrom

And she conducted a long interview with Quinn Hughes:

3. Along the Quinn Hughes lines, the Hockey News’s Matt Larkin posted an article full of draft scuttlebutt, including the following:

In terms of storylines, the draft is always fun when it comes to speculation. Quinn Hughes, for example, plays at the University of Michigan and was at the NTDP before that, just down the road from Ann Arbor in Plymouth. Given where the Detroit Red Wings are slated to pick, a lot of folks are wondering if the franchise will take Hughes at No. 6. Hughes recently came back from the World Championship, where Detroit bench boss Jeff Blashill was his coach. There was another Red Wing there, too.

“I roomed with Dylan Larkin at the worlds so I got to know him pretty closely,” Hughes said. “He had the same path as me, going to Michigan, so Detroit would be a great spot. I love coach Blashill, he’s awesome. He was unbelievable with me so it would be a great fit, but it’s not up to me. I’ve done everything I can do up until this point and now it’s in their hands.”

And unfair as it may be, sometimes it’s impossible not to think about future drafts even when the current one hasn’t happened yet. The 2019 cohort will be led by Jack Hughes (Quinn’s brother) and one of his NTDP linemates had some nice insight on why the young center is such a phenom.

“His anticipation and vision to read plays is something he does real well,” said Joel Farabee. “He’s just a really special player. He’ll fail five times on a shift but then succeed on the sixth time; that’s something a lot of players don’t have.”

4. The Red Wings also posted combine media availability videos of probable Wings picks:

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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.

One thought on “Draft combine articles and videos from HSJ and THN + Holland on moving up-or-down”

  1. I think Hughes needs a lot of growing to do in GR but he is a special prospect.

    I sure wouldn’t mind the younger Svech for a pick but that seems to be a real long shot. Young Svech is touted as a top 3 pick, with that I think if the Wings move up into the top 3 there will or should be a stud D Man which is more important to the Wings.

    Steal a Russian in the latter rounds?

    All I hope is that the Wings don’t move down, JMO

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