The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler penned a lengthy list today, ranking his Top 50 NHL Drafted Prospects, and the Wings make a couple of appearances on Wheeler’s list:
12. Filip Zadina, LW/RW, 19 (Detroit Red Wings — 6th overall, 2o18)
Zadina’s season probably didn’t go as he or the Red Wings had hoped and though he’s probably not going to be a line-carrying puck presence, the Red Wings have playmaking centers like Dylan Larkin and Joe Veleno who may be able to get the best out of him, though they missed an opportunity to take another when they passed on several high-end centers in favor of Moritz Seider. Zadina is young, can really break players down with his puck skill and can flat out score. That should be enough to make him a 30-30-60 guy (maybe more) and a dynamic threat on the power play. It may just not happen overnight.
33. Joe Veleno, C, 19 (Detroit Red Wings — 30th overall, 2018)
I believed Veleno should have been a top-15 pick on draft day and I still believe that a year later after his first full season on a strong QMJHL team led to the best point per game clip (1.76) in the league (narrowly ahead of Alexis Lafreniere’s 1.72 rate). Veleno has been miscast as someone who’s going to be a very good third-line center due to the fact that his two-way game is more well-rounded than his high-end peers. That was true when he was shoved into a fourth-line role on last year’s version of Team Canada at the world juniors on a team that ultimately lost in the quarters. And it’s true in the way a lot of evaluators talk about him. I see something more. Because Veleno is also an excellent skater whose scoring touch has begun to catch up to his elite speed and cerebral playmaking talent. There’s impact 2C upside in his game.
Continued (paywall), and I believe that Veleno could be equally successful in a 2nd line offensive or 3rd line shut-down role, depending on where the Wings slot him.