The Free Press’s Helene St. James looks back at the Red Wings’ 2017 NHL draft class this morning, and she’s not impressed with the return-on-investment thus far:
In addition to [Malte] Setkov, the Wings drafted forward Michael Rasmussen (ninth), defenseman Gustav Lindstrom (38th), defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo (71st), forward Lane Zablocki (79th), forward Zachary Gallant (83), goaltender Keith Petruzzelli (88th), defenseman Cole Fraser (131st), forward Jack Adams (162nd), defenseman Reilly Webb (164th) and forward Brady Gilmour (193rd). Zablocki, Gallant, Fraser, Webb and Gilmour are no longer in the Wings’ system.
Rasmussen is among several Wings players on loan to a team in Europe because of the pandemic. He has two goals and six assists with Graz in Austria. He appeared in 62 games with the Wings in 2018-19, recording eight goals and 10 assists, but spent last season with the Grand Rapids Griffins because the Wings want Rasmussen (6-6, 220) to get comfortable playing center at the pro level. He projects as a bottom six forward who can increase his value as a net-front presence on power plays.
Lindstrom appeared in 16 games last season for the Wings, playing a safe, solid game. He’s currently on loan to Almtuna IS, also in HockeyAllsvenskan.
Kotkansalo had been playing at Boston University, but he left that program to play for Ässät in Finland, where he has one assist in 18 games. He also appears unlikely to be signed before the summer deadline.
St. James continues, and the 2017 draft was the first one in which the Wings made 11 picks over the course of 7 draft rounds. I felt that Tyler Wright’s regime looked overwhelmed by the sheer number of picks, and that the team rushed its decision-making process…As a result, the Wings snagged a significant number of complementary players instead of the star power they needed, especially at the top end of the draft.