Of NHL draft-related note this morning:
- The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan filed another mock draft, and this time around, he believes that the Red Wings will focus on their defense:
► 4. Detroit Red Wings: Jamie Drysdale, defenseman, Erie (OHL). The Wings need help everywhere, so several prospects could be in play. The feeling here, though, is Drysdale is the type of defenseman the Wings can’t pass up.
2. In a convenient coincidence, Sportsnet posted a profile of Jamie Drysdale this evening:
3. Shifting gears, if the Wings are to pick a goaltender, former NHL goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin gave SKA St. Petersburg goaltender Yaroslav Askarov a glowing recommendation, per an article (and 7-minute, non-geoblocked video) from TSN’s Mark Masters:
What impresses you the most about Askarov?
“What I like about him is, first of all, his mindset because he always wants to get better. Also, with the good size that he has (6-foot-3), he’s very explosive, goes side to side very quick. He reads the play pretty well. He’s not afraid to hold his ground … he’s probably the best puck-handler in the KHL right now, which is quite unusual for a Russian goalie to be like that. He’s not afraid to get out of the net. He’s not afraid to make plays. Sometimes he could make an easier play than he does, but I always encourage him to do it even if he makes mistakes occasionally. As he gets older I think he’ll realize what he should do and what he shouldn’t.”
Askarov posted a .900 save percentage in two VHL (second-tier league) games this season, but was then up to .974 in three KHL games. How do you assess how he’s started?
“In [the] minors I don’t think he started too well, but he got some time with the KHL team SKA [Saint Petersburg] and he looked really good. I watched a couple of the games and he looked poised. He looked in control. He looked like he controlled the game. He made a lot of good saves, made a lot of good plays with the puck. I really enjoyed watching it.”
4. Sportsnet posted profiles of Drysdale, Lucas Raymond, Anton Lundell, Marco Rossi and Alexander Holtz on Saturday afternoon, as well as a Draft Primer and a video of the best prospects available from the QMJHL:
Sportsnet has also discussed the OHL and QMJHL’s best prospects via video:
5. TSN conducted a mock draft Top 10 a couple of days ago, and Craig Button discussed his top 3 defensemen available at the draft…
6. And, via the Red Wings on Twitter, in case you were wondering about the television and/or internet streaming options for the 2020 NHL draft, here they are, per the NHL:
We’re another day closer to the 2020 #NHLDraft. Here’s what you need to know with the #NHLStats Draft Information Guide: https://t.co/2I8dPFjuyx— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 3, 2020
📅 Tuesday, Oct. 6
⏰ 7 p.m. ET
📺 NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA
📅 Wednesday, Oct. 7
⏰ 11:30 a.m. ET
📺 NHLN, SN1 pic.twitter.com/wailVxNt38
The NHL is supposed to be streaming the second through seventh rounds on NHL.com as well.
7. Finally, DetroitRedWings.com’s Brett McWethy noted that two long-time members of the Red Wings’ roster are now the gentlemen tasked with drafting and developing the next generation of Wings players:
When [Steve] Yzerman took over as Executive Vice President & General Manager of the Red Wings on April 19, 2019, Draper was wrapping up his seventh season as a member of Detroit’s front office. Yzerman retained [Kris] Draper, and one year later, promoted him to Director of Amateur Scouting ahead of the 2019-20 season.
Next week, they’ll enter their second NHL Entry Draft under Yzerman’s leadership, hoping to secure the next crop of Red Wings players to help lead this Original Six franchise back to an elite level.
“Kris and I played together a long time,” said Yzerman. “Through our playing days, we talked hockey a lot. We share a common feel for players that we like and what we look for.”
That synergy will come in handy beginning Tuesday, when the Red Wings pick fourth in the first round. Detroit is scheduled to make 10 total selections in the draft, which was originally scheduled to take place in the month of June before COVID-19 forced the NHL season to pause in mid-March.
Yzerman and Draper began interviewing and speaking to prospects in the month of April, and advances in technology have allowed for the Red Wings’ amateur scouting staff to get an increased scouting look at the many of the eligible draftees. All indications are that the duo is on the same page heading into the draft, which will be held virtually over two consecutive days.
“I have a very good comfort level with him (Draper), knowing what he’s looking for and players that he likes, traits that he likes in players,” Yzerman said. “He’s a hard worker, he’s very organized. Our communication has been excellent.”
Here’s hoping that the pair make 10 excellent decisions on Tuesday and Wednesday.