The Athletic’s Corey Pronman has penned a “Mock Draft 2.0,” and as he believes that Evan Bouchard will go to Ottawa 4th overall, Pronman and Craig Custance suggest that the Red Wings will draft Michigan native Quinn Hughes at #6:
No 6 Detroit: Quinn Hughes, D, Michigan-Big 10 What does the team typically value in players? The Red Wings ideal during their rebuild would be to build a team with skill and size. Even as the league is trending smaller, they value size along with character players they believe will put in the work to develop. That said, they understand the organizational need for high-end skill so they may be more willing to take on risk with their stockpile of draft picks.
Is there any major area of need? The Red Wings focus at the top of the draft will be on defense and at center.
Rationale? If the draft plays out like this, expect the Red Wings to look to trade down, although they won’t go outside the top 10. They might prefer Noah Dobson in this spot because of his size and his right-handed shot, but it’s hard to pass up Hughes’ skating and playmaking.— Craig Custance
Pronman’s comments: The Wings pick out of their backyard to get the defenseman with the second highest pure upside in the class, and the best pure skater in the class. He immediately becomes the organization’s top prospect and the most talented young defense prospect they’ve had in decades.
Continued (paywall), and I’d be surprised if Bouchard doesn’t slide down to 6th, but that’s my take.