report this adAs the Detroit Pink Wings make the ultimate tweaks to their draft board, a number of years’ value of scouting and strategizing will all be condensed down into an inventory of about 30-40 names. All of these street journeys, cross-country flights, and time away from household will culminate with two action-packed nights that may decide the group’s future.
Normal supervisor Steve Yzerman and his staff have already sat down to debate the group’s future and decide the suitable routes that they should take to return to competition, together with their philosophy for the 2019 NHL Draft.
The Pink Wings’ scouting employees had already frolicked placing collectively the draft board, however further data from the Scouting Mix, Memorial Cup event, and World Championships certainly justified refined modifications. Detroit’s hope is that they’ll barely be midway by means of the want checklist earlier than the draft concludes and that the majority of these gamers go on to contribute to the group’s success.
So with the draft nearing, let’s check out how the Pink Wings have fared in earlier years. Which wells did Detroit continuously return to? Which picks exceeded or fell wanting draft-day expectations?
Pink Wings’ Draft Tendencies
For the reason that 2004-05 NHL Lockout, the Pink Wings have drafted 95 gamers from numerous leagues and ranges the world over. Ten of these picks have been first-round picks, which is lower than you’d need for a 13-year span.
The OHL leads the way in which with 18 Pink Wings selections, making up 19 % of Detroit’s whole picks. It is smart – the OHL is correct in Detroit’s yard and is definitely accessible for fast journeys to scout gamers. Nonetheless, solely Tyler Bertuzzi, Andreas Athanasiou, Petr Mrazek, and Shawn Matthias come to thoughts as profitable Pink Wings draft picks from the OHL. Others, together with some first- and second-round picks, merely didn’t pan out, however extra on that later.
Detroit’s OHL batting common isn’t excellent, however not less than they drafted Andreas Athanasiou. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Aside from the OHL, the Pink Wings have a tendency to tug gamers from Sweden’s numerous leagues, which actually shouldn’t shock anybody both. For the reason that 2006 NHL Draft, Detroit has plucked 22 gamers from six completely different Swedish leagues, with 13 coming from the SuperElit J20 pool. Notable alumni embrace Gustav Nyquist and Filip Larsson. These picks are typically within the later rounds – gamers who longtime Pink Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson recommends as initiatives with some very robust elements of their sport.
Earlier than taking a flier on these Swedish imports, the Pink Wings sometimes take the most effective participant accessible with their first-round picks, then attain for up-and-coming main junior gamers and European professionals within the second and third rounds. Later rounds give attention to developmental gamers from Sweden’s junior leagues, the USHL, and CHL prospects who could also be in line for elevated roles the next yr with their respective golf equipment.
Associated: Pink Wings 2019 Draft Preview
It needs to be famous that “finest participant accessible” is a subjective time period that depends on the place gamers fall on Detroit’s personal draft board, quite than trade rankings and different media takes. Extremely regarded prospects Dennis Cholowski and Michael Rasmussen definitely come to thoughts on this occasion. Each went “forward” of their projected draft slot however had been properly preferred by Pink Wings scouts for his or her professionalism and hockey IQ. Time will inform if these two gamers had been chosen in the best spots in spite of everything.
Lastly, a handful of Pink Wings picks by no means signal with the group, with 5 gamers from the 2017 draft being the newest examples. That’s simply how the draft works. For the reason that 2006 draft, 23 of Detroit’s 95 picks (24 %) didn’t signal with the staff or weren’t provided contracts. When a company is just allotted 50 contracts, cuts must be made. Fortunately for the Pink Wings, none of these gamers went on to have success elsewhere within the NHL.
Previous Draft Gems
Whereas no Henrik Zetterbergs or Pavel Datsyuks have emerged from Detroit’s draft lessons since 2006, there have been just a few late-round surprises.
Gustav Nyquist – No. 121 (4th Spherical – 2008)
Quickly after the Pink Wings received the 2008 Stanley Cup, they took a diminutive ahead out of Sweden’s SuperElit J20 league. That participant turned out to be Nyquist, who rapidly grew to become a prime prospect after a stellar post-draft yr on the College of Maine. The subsequent season, Nyquist exploded for 61 factors in 39 video games. The yr after, 51 in 36.
For the way lengthy will the “Goose” be free in Hockeytown? (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
After graduating to the AHL, Nyquist tore it up for Grand Rapids and shortly grew to become considered one of Detroit’s most reliable forwards. The Swede has recorded the eighth-most factors amongst forwards taken within the 2008 draft, with the seven above him all having performed extra video games. Nyquist’s profession mark of zero.59 factors per sport ranks fifth amongst 2008-drafted forwards, trailing solely Steven Stamkos, Jordan Eberle, Derek Stepan, and Cam Atkinson.
Associated: The Grind Line: Pink Wings’ Choose at No. 6 – Closing Ideas
Petr Mrazek – No. 151 (fifth Spherical – 2011)
Although he not resides in Hockeytown, Mrazek has contributed far more to the Pink Wings than most fifth-round picks. Detroit took an opportunity on the netminder following a brutal OHL playoff outing wherein Mrazek walked away with a goals-against common over 5. This probably contributed to his fall to the fifth spherical, contemplating his common season was fairly strong.
Mrazek rebounded in his draft-plus-one yr with a shocking bronze medal on the World Junior Championships and later led his Ottawa 67s staff deep into the OHL playoffs. The next season, Mrazek stepped up his sport much more, incomes a few spot begins with the Pink Wings and a Calder Cup with the Griffins that spring.
Andreas Athanasiou – No. 110 (4th Spherical – 2012)
Again in June 2012, the Pink Wings chosen Athanasiou within the fourth spherical. His velocity was clearly a energy, however he had loads of room to enhance when it got here to protection and perspective. Plus, Athanasiou’s 37 factors in 63 video games for the high-powered London Knights appeared fairly underwhelming.
The lightning-quick Athanasiou made good on Detroit’s resolution to draft him by turning into a point-per-game participant the next yr for Barrie and pumped dwelling 49 targets the following season earlier than turning professional with Grand Rapids.
Brutal Draft Busts
For each late-round steal, there’s one main draft blunder. This goes for many NHL groups, not simply the Pink Wings. Nonetheless, the hindsight could be nauseating.
Tom McCollum – No. 30 (1st Spherical – 2008)
Three rounds earlier than the Pink Wings took Nyquist within the 2008 draft, they chose goaltender Tom McCollum with their first-round decide. On the time, McCollum was extremely rated; his OHL stats put him amongst league leaders for goals-against common and save proportion. However as soon as McCollum reached the skilled degree, the wheels started to fall off.
For the second time in his profession, it seems that the Pink Wings won’t convey Tom McCollum again. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports activities)
It wasn’t till his fourth AHL season earlier than McCollum recorded a save proportion greater than .900. Mrazek and Jared Coreau rapidly surpassed him on the depth chart, and the Amherst, New York-native was finally allowed to stroll as a free agent with no contract supply and solely three NHL video games below his belt.
Gamers handed over: Jacob Markstrom, Jake Allen, Roman Josi, Derek Stepan
Riley Sheahan – No. 21 (1st Spherical – 2010)
With just one—perhaps two—strong Pink Wings seasons to his title, it’s honest to name Riley Sheahan a bust. The 2010 first-round choice was drafted with the intention of him enjoying in a top-six function, not going practically a whole season with out scoring from Detroit’s fourth line. Now, Sheahan is gone and in search of a brand new dwelling as a pending unrestricted free agent.
Gamers handed over: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Charlie Coyle, Justin Faulk, Tyler Toffoli
Zach Nastasiuk – No. 48 (2nd Spherical – 2013)
Although there’s nonetheless time for Zach Nastasiuk to show his profession round, it’s not trying promising for the previous 2013 second-round decide. As of now, his NHL hopes are slim to none.
Zach Nastasiuk’s hockey profession simply hasn’t caught footing on the skilled degree. (David Chan)
Following a 20-goal season and a powerful playoff efficiency, the Pink Wings invested in Nastasiuk. Nonetheless, the middle simply wasn’t capable of lock down a job with the Griffins and is not a part of the group.
Gamers handed over: Brett Pesce, Jake Guentzel, Pavel Buchnevich, Will Butcher
Associated: Pink Wings 2019 Prospect Replace