My Waffle House Hot Takes regarding the 2020 NHL Draft involve: (1) lot of complaining about the draft lottery being stupid (I don’t believe that the NHL should reward mediocre teams with a 50% chance of earning a top 3 draft pick at the expense of teams that really need help); and (2) the belief that the Red Wings should use their 4th overall pick to snag the player with the highest developmental ceiling, regardless of whom that player might be.
If I were to “show my hand,” I’d suggest that the Wings take Erie Otters defenseman Jamie Drysdale on October 9th and run for the hills, but one never knows what GM Steve Yzerman or director of amateur scouting Kris Draper are thinking.
That being said, there’s been a lot of buzz about the Wings snagging Ottawa 67’s center Marco Rossi, Frolunda Indians winger Lucas Raymond, and, more and more regularly, the Wings are tied to Saginaw Spirit forward Cole Perfetti over Drysdale thanks to the “local ties” (see: Draper and company have probably seen a lot of Perfetti as he’s in the Wings’ backyard, and both Chris Osgood and Jimmy Devellano have ownership stakes in the Spirit) and the Wings’ build-up-the-middle philosophy.
Chris Peters posted a mock draft for ESPN+ this morning, and he’s on the Perfetti train:
4. Detroit Red Wings: Cole Perfetti, C, Saginaw (OHL)
Steve Yzerman is one of the hardest GMs to read when it comes to the draft. There isn’t a pattern, and I’m usually looking for a curveball from him. But Perfetti isn’t a curveball here; he’s one of the most skilled players in this class with the puck on his stick. Having spent his junior hockey career in nearby Saginaw, he’d certainly have his own cheering section at every game in Detroit. The Red Wings need to get more dynamic, and that happens with Perfetti.
Perfetti is a 2002 birth-year center who’s got two OHL seasons under his belt at 18-and-a-half years of age, and his 74 assists and 111 points registered over the course of 61 games tell the tale of an elite playmaker.
I still like the idea of the Wings adding a fleet-footed defenseman like Drysdale, and as Marco Rossi is a natural athlete (he almost picked playing pro tennis over pro hockey) who will turn 19 on September 23rd (i.e. he’s a little more developed than most of the 2002-born players), but the Wings have been linked to Perfetti more and more regularly as the Mock Drafts shift from May and June to July and now late August.