Two Wings make The Athletic’s Wheeler’s top prospects list

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.

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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.

3 thoughts on “Two Wings make The Athletic’s Wheeler’s top prospects list”

  1. “2nd line offensive or 3rd line shut-down role”

    Using Veleno in a shut down role would be absolutely terrible!!! Blasshill might have something to do with that.

    Veleno will spend a year in GR and keep figuring out the 2 way game. He got better last year and still scored a ton. I hope Zadina learns to use his linemates more. If Veleno and Zadina work out to be top 6, some youngsters are going to have to be moved, etc. Good problem.

    I think in todays NHL the 3rd line plays a lot more offense than previous years, eventually GOODBYE Frans, Helm , Aby…I probably missed about 5 more.

    Helm will be there for years, UGH

  2. Hey remember when Sheahan was touted here as a guy who could be a playmaking 2C or a shutdown 3C. Svech was going to be a 30-30 sniper that would be even better than Mantha. Something that Jurco was supposed to be but he had an attitude problem or something. Smith and Kindl would be our top pair, with Sproul looking like the next Seabrook. Yawn. Somehow this fanbase buys into the hype on everyone. Starts from the moment they hit development camp and we hear how everyone is elite.

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