Monday morning Wings draft discussion

Of Red Wings draft-related note this morning:

1. In the “out-of-towners’ takes” department, The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler and Sportsnet’s Dimitri Filipovic gave praise to the Wings’ draft haul, with Wheeler suggesting that the Wings’ first three picks maximized value

Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings were in the best shape coming in, and had eight picks in the top 100. Mix in that I didn’t like seven of their 10 picks, including where they took two players (Alec Regula and Jared McIsaac) who were on my list, and it’s a miracle they’re on this list. But they did so damn well with their first three picks of the draft that they deserve a ton of credit. Zadina was an obvious home run at No. 6, but the real value was in Joe Veleno, ranked 13th on my board, at 30th overall, and Jonatan Berggren, who was a risky pick they didn’t have to take but were right to anyways. Berggren, ranked 20th, has unique upside, pull-away speed, outstanding puck skills, a nifty release point, escapability, and playmaking ability in traffic. There’s a chance they found three future top-nine forwards. Read more about Veleno, one of the better two-way players in the draft and a fabulous skater, here.

And Filipovic agreed:

The biggest beneficiaries of teams going off the board and reaching for players early on were the Detroit Red Wings and New York Islanders.

The Red Wings arguably got the biggest steal of the draft in Filip Zadina, who was simply too skilled to pass up on at No. 6 despite the team presumably entering the draft expecting to come away with whichever defenceman out of the top ‘Non-Rasmus Dahlin’ tier fell to them. For whatever reason people started to overthink things with Zadina — after having him as the consensus third-highest ranked talent in the class for the majority of the season, draftniks began nitpicking various things about his game while elevating others as the pre-draft process dragged along.

He’s already on the record saying that he’s going to prove those people wrong, and it’s easy to believe him. Blessed with a skill set that not only translates to the next level, but should consistently make him a top flight scorer in a league that needs more of them, he’s positioned to do just that. With Zadina, and the combination of Joe Veleno and Jonatan Berggren falling past their draft slots, the Red Wings have a case for being the team that squeezed the most value out of the assets they had coming into the weekend.

2. Closer to home, the Free Press’s Helene St. James penned an article about the Wings’ draft class as viewed by the team’s draft experts

All 10 players are expected to be part of the coming week’s development camp. After Friday’s first round in Dallas, where the Wings have the good fortune to be able to draft winger Filip Zadina at sixth overall, I said to the team’s director of amateur scouting, Tyler Wright: Put Zadina on a line with 2017 first-rounder Michael Rasmussen at development camp.

“Put Givani Smith on the other wing and watch them go,” he replied.

Zadina is a scorer, a guy who finds openings in tight areas. He could be a fit next season with Henrik Zetterberg, who plays with the calm command that helps a young player adjust to the NHL — look at how well it worked with Dylan Larkin three years ago.

That’ll be determined at training camp, but expect to see Zadina in a handful of exhibition games.

“He’s going to get a chance to make our team this season,” general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press.

Had Zadina been gone by No. 6 (along with Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov and Brady Tkachuk), the Wings would have drafted defenseman Evan Bouchard, because of his ability to run a power play. Instead the Wings didn’t draft a defenseman until the second round.

St. James continues

3. MLive’s Ansar Khan penned profiles of each and every one of the Wings’ 10 draft picks…

4. And’s Arthur J. Regner posted an interview with Zadina as his latest “Red and White Authority” podcast:


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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.

4 thoughts on “Monday morning Wings draft discussion”

  1. wow! got home after weekend of hiking to Zadina. WT! was AZ thinking? Getting Veleno and Berggren in the 2nd is outstanding. I am surprised it took the Wings four picks to take a Dman, but those three guys must have been hard to pass. McIsaac does sound like a good defensive pairing with an offensive first guy.

    Great draft by Kenny and his staff.

    What do we know about the Gs taken?

  2. I am impressed with Mr. Holland… great draft for Detroit!

    I admit, I was a skeptic, but the Wings org nailed this one.

    1. There’s room to be skeptical for sure. The wing’s passed on a lot of Dmen. They must be pretty high on Cholo and Hronek to let so many good guys pass by in the 2nd round. That’s the other way to see the draft.

    2. You’re easily impressed by only one draft year—suggest you look at the term/AAV on helm. neilsen. dk, etc.
      That’s to a great extent how we got here.

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