The Red Wings and NHL’s media corps have levied their evaluations of the 2019 NHL Draft, and here is a summary of at least some of the points made regarding the Wings’ 11 picks:
- In the subscriber-only department, ESPN’s Chris Peters weighs in regarding the Wings’ overall draft performance:
Detroit Red Wings: B.
Let’s talk about reaching. The Red Wings definitely went a bit off the board to get Moritz Seider, but I like the player. Had they traded down, perhaps no one would have batted an eye. But in the end, they got the guy they ultimately wanted. Where he goes from here is a bit of a mystery because of the relatively small role he played on his German pro team. There’s no question he has talent — we just need to see him in more situations. I also thought Antti Tuomisto was a really risky pick where the Red Wings got him, but I don’t mind the bet on a towering defenseman who is still pretty raw.
The Red Wings get a higher grade despite the risk because of the value they got out of the middle-round picks. I really like Mastrosimone for both his skill and competitiveness. Albert Johansson has some legit skill and poise, too. Albin Grewe is a physical forward with some limited offensive upside, but I’ve long been intrigued by his toolbox. And my favorite bet that the Red Wings made? Elmer Soderblom, a 6-foot-7 forward who needs a lot of work. But I think he skates well for such a big man, and he has some hands. If they hit on him, he’d be one of the more unique forwards in the game, given his size and apparent skill. Whether or not the Red Wings reached early on, they made their system better at this draft.
2. The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler wrote a gargantuan assessment of all 31 teams’ draft classes, and he had this to say about the Wings, who he deems “overtime losers” as far as wins-losses-and-ties are concerned:
I don’t mind the Antti Tuomisto pick. The Red Wings probably could have got him at No. 54 or No. 60 so it was maybe a bit too high for my liking but he fits the mould they went with with Moritz Seider as a huge defender with some nice touch and ability who has some kinks to work out. Tuomisto was one of the better offensive threats in Finland’s top junior league last season.
If “don’t mind” was where I was at on Tuomisto, “very happy” would be where I would recommend Red Wings be at with Robert Mastrosimone at No. 54. He’s an exciting centre who can score and pass, or carry and get open. Love this pick.
Albert Johansson is a fine pick (he actually went exactly where I had him ranked, though there were several players I liked better at that slot) and may become a No. 4-5 D.
Honestly, I liked what the Red Wings did by going with Albin Grewe at No. 66 as well. When he puts his head down and drives the net, he’s a lot to handle. A bit of a linear player (he’s not going to break teams down laterally) but he projects fairly safely as a third-line forward.
3. The Athletic’s Corey Pronman gives the Wings a pick-by-pick assessment as well as a full-class grade. Regrettably, I can only share part of the sum of Pronman’s hard-working parts with you:
2019 Draft Grade: B
Detroit had an interesting draft. They got talent but the debate over the next few years will be, did they get the right talent. I like Moritz Seider a lot, just not at No. 6. I like Antti Tuomisto, just not at No. 35. For what it’s worth, Detroit wasn’t the only team high on both those players, even if it wasn’t a consensus opinion. They had a lot of Day 2 picks, as has been the case the past few years, and they added a lot to their farm system. I think Seider will be a quality top-four defenseman, Robert Mastrosimone and Albin Grewe play, Tuomisto has a good chance to play, and several other picks are on the radar. For the assets they had, was it enough, though? I have some skepticism, but time will tell. This is one of the most fascinating team classes of the past few years.
4. In the “stuff you can read without a paywall” department Free Press’s Helene St. James, the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan and Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff all posted summaries of the Wings’ 11 picks.
St. James offers names, stats and a scouting report on each of the 11 picks…
F Robert Mastrosimone
Drafted: Round 2 (54th).
Vitals: 5-10, 170.
2018-19 stats: 31 goals, 29 assists in 54 games with Chicago Steel (United States Hockey League).
Scouting report: Known for his competitive style, he plays with a nonstop motor. Really skilled with great hands and great hockey sense.
D Albert Johansson
Drafted: Round 2 (60th).
Vitals: 6-feet, 168.
2018-19 stats: Five goals, 24 points in 40 games with Farjestad in Sweden’s SuperElit.
Scouting report: Smooth skater who sees the ice well; has great acceleration and is adept at moving the puck. Bit of a dark horse. Played for Sweden at World Junior Championship.
Kulfan follows a similar formula…
Pick: No. 66 overall (Round 3)
Position: Center/right wing
Height/weight: 6-foot/187 pounds
Last season: Djurgardens (Sweden) — 25 games, 13 goals, 21 assists
Scouting report: Grewe is a player who many scouts had going about a round higher. Think Brad Marchand. Loves to get under the skin of opponents, but has the talent to back it up. Relentless worker on the ice.
Pick: No. 97 overall (Round 4)
Height/weight: 5-foot-9/145 pounds
Last season: Sioux Fallas (USHL) — 50 games, 16 goals, 27 assists
Scouting report: Smallish frame — the 145 pounds is legitimate — but Phillips has great skating ability, plays with a lot of energy and could become a defensive shut-down type of guy.
And Duff goes into a little more detail:
Cooper Moore, D, 6-1, 195, Brunswick Prep (USHS)
“To be honest with you, our U.S. guys kind of pounded the table more than I did,” Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright said. “I didn’t see him at all this year. They were looking at him and they wanted him. At the end of the day, you gotta listen to who’s pounding the table for a specific player at that time. We gave them their opportunity to make the pick.”
Elmer Soderblom, RW, 6-6, 219, Frolunda Jr. (Sweden)
With that size, it will come as no surprise that Soderblom is strong on the puck in tight quarters. He’s definitely a long-term project, however. Soderblom’s production hasn’t caught up to his gifted hands. And while he’s a decent skater for a big man, he still needs to upgrade this area of his game.
“He’s huge,” Andersson said. “Huge. And at the same time he’s a good skater and he’s got good hands. He’s actually suffering from being 6-foot-6 at the age of 17. Very few guys are fully coordinated at that time.”
5. Finally, MLive’s Ansar Khan took snippets of the comments made by Steve Yzerman, Tyler Wright and Hakan Andersson and assembled a from-the-executives’-mouth assessment:
In all, this draft class features five defensemen, seven Europeans and six players 6-1 or taller. This is the first-ever draft the Red Wings did not select a player from the Canadian major junior ranks (CHL).
“The only emphasis was on trying to do our homework, make sure we knew all these kids well and pick the best possible prospects we could,” Yzerman told media at the draft. “As far as position or whatever, it just kind of plays out how it plays out from pick to pick.”
Yzerman, having run the Tampa Bay Lightning’s drafts from 2010-2018, knows it’s a bit of a crapshoot and will take a few years to determine the results.
“Generally, I guess I can say I’m pleased how it played out,” Yzerman said. “Once you get into the later rounds it’s a little bit of a guessing game as far as who might be there. Each pick we had was a player we knew well that we had interest in picking in that spot. All things considered it worked out OK and keep our fingers crossed.”