ESPN’s prospect expert, Chris Peters, posted his final mock draft on ESPN+ this morning, and he believes that the Red Wings may end up drafting Cole Perfetti after all. However…
Cole Perfetti, C, Saginaw (OHL)
General manager Steve Yzerman is such a draft wild card, and that makes his picks both really fun and really tough to read. But the Red Wings seem prefer the skilled forward Perfetti over other options. He’s a stylistic fit for Detroit, as it desperately needs more high-end skill in its system. Perfetti has great offensive sense and a quick release on his shot, helping him to 37 goals in 61 games last season. However, I’m also watching for top goalie Yaroslav Askarov to potentially sneak in here. After Lafreniere, Byfield and Stutzle, the next six players on the board are of similar value, meaning Yzerman can’t really go wrong here with the realistic options available to him.
Continued (paywall); ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, Peters and Greg Wyshynski also discussed a Red Wings-related topic in their “draft primer“:
Which team was the biggest loser of the lottery process, and can it still “win” at the draft?
Kaplan: Perhaps no team got burned by the NHL’s revised lottery rules quite like the Detroit Red Wings. In his first year running the Detroit franchise, GM Steve Yzerman says he didn’t go into tank mode, but the Red Wings had 23 fewer points than any other team. Detroit only had an 18.5% chance of landing the top pick, but it fell all the way to No. 4.
Yzerman was known for his astute late drafting while building the Tampa Bay roster, and he spun the situation optimistically. “We can sit here and feel sorry for ourselves, that doesn’t matter,” Yzerman said. “And you know what, maybe we will get lucky. Colorado lost the lottery a couple years ago and ended up at the fourth spot and got Cale Makar, a player that definitely moves the needle. We’ll get our lucky breaks along the way, and maybe this will be one of them in an odd-looking way.”