We’re just short of three weeks ahead of the 2020 NHL Draft, and The Athletic’s Max Bultman examines the Red Wings and Lightning’s draft record in the second round over the past 10 seasons in order to determine whether the team should utilize its 3 2nd-round picks to trade up into the 1st round, or whether the Wings should attempt to draft as many prospects as possible.
His conclusion reads (in part) as follows:
Teams that sat tight and made most of their picks had predictably mixed results, too: The second round is not a haven of easy-to-nail picks, but there is often useful talent still on the board, if you can identify it.
Perhaps the most useful data point in all of this, then, is what Detroit did last year, with a similar set of second-round assets. It’s been more than a year since that draft, but in terms of Detroit’s rebuilding status, not much has changed. If anything, the road ahead now may look longer because of the Red Wings’ disastrous results last season.
But those three players Detroit picked in the second round last summer are all now among its top 10 prospects. It wouldn’t be surprising if at least two were part of the Red Wings’ next playoff team. And while high-end talent is the Red Wings’ most pressing need at this stage, more picks means more chances to find another Bertuzzi or a Filip Hronek in Round 2.
Bultman continues at significant length, and, put bluntly, the Wings need as many kicks as the can at possible, so I don’t see them attempting to trade up into the first round by combining 2nd round picks at this point.