The Sporting News’s Steve Kournianos ranked the NHL’s prospect pipelines, suggesting that the Red Wings’ farm system is in 10th place among the NHL’s 31 teams:
10. Detroit Red Wings
Steve Yzerman’s tenure as Detroit’s general manager’s got off to a questionable start when he bypassed conventional draft wisdom and took two-way defenseman Moritz Seider with the sixth overall pick. The move certainly will be monitored for several years, but what shouldn’t be lost in the post-draft hysteria is that Yzerman had already inherited an excellent group of young talent and had the flexibility to roll the dice.
Goal-scoring winger Filip Zadina and center Joe Veleno – the last two first-round picks made by predecessor Ken Holland – are among the elite of the elite. Zadina is the odds-on favorite to beat out his peers for a roster spot and Veleno is the primary target to center Team Canada’s top line at the under-20 world juniors. To no one’s surprise, the majority of the organization’s other notable neophytes are Swedes, with goalie Filip Larsson coming off another stellar campaign in which he posted a .932 save percentage and 1.95 goals-against average as a freshman for Denver. Detroit also owns a pair of confident three-zone puck movers in Gustav Lindstrom and Albert Johansson and won a key free-agent derby by luring former Western Michigan defenseman Oliwer Kaski away from Finland, where he was the top-scoring blueliner in the SM-Liiga. Left winger Robert Mastrosimone, a Boston University recruit who was of the more underrated players from this year’s draft class, has a bit of Gustav Nyquist in him and should be considered having first-round value in a second-round pick.