The big 3-0
That said, here are a few of the players who could possibly be available when the 30th pick rolls around. Remember, I said possibly.
-- Jordan Eberle, 5-10, center, Regina (WHL).
Ranked by ISS as the third best scorer in the draft behind only Steven Stamkos and Nikita Filatov. Eberle scored 107 goals in the past three WHL seasons, including 42 this winter in 70 games. The major knock on Eberle might be his size, but size doesn't matter (sorry) for the Red Wings. Eberle isn't a good defensive player and that might place him low on the Red Wings' board. He started the season ranked as a potential mid-first rounder, then slipped down. Now, Eberle's stock is rising and he might be gone 5-10 picks before the Red Wings.
-- David Toews, 5-10, left wing, Shattuck St. Mary's (Minnesota high school).
The younger frother of Chicago's Jonathan Toews. There, that's out of the way. Toews hasn't gone in the first round of a lot of mock drafts, but he is ranked No. 27 among skaters by ISS. Toews is similar to Eberle in that he's offensively strong and needs work on defense. He's a better leader than Eberle, but not as good of a goal scorer.
-- Anton Gustafsson, 6-2, center, Frolunda (Swedish juniors).
Gustafsson could well be around in the second round because he hasn't had much exposure. A back injury kept him out for a good portion of this season, including the world under-18s. The son of Swedish national team coach and former NHLer Bengt, Gustaffson projects as a two-way power forward with good size.
-- Greg Nemisz, 6-3, center, Windsor (OHL).
Nemisz has great size, but is a poor skater. He netted 34 goals for the Spitfires and could be a good power forward some day. He doesn't look like the Red Wings' sort of player, however, because of his poor skating and average (at best) defense. There's a good chance that Nemisz will be off the board when the Red Wings pick.
-- Zac Dalpe, 6-0, center, Penticton (BCHL).
Dalpe's stock has risen this season and he might have gone out of range for the Red Wings. Dalpe is coming from a second-tier junior league, accounting for his rise through the rankings as he became better known. Dalpe, who committed to Ohio State, has excellent skills with the puck and a frame that could fill out.
-- Cody Goloubef, 6-0, defenseman, Wisconsin (WCHA).
A teammate of the Wings' top pick last year, Brendan Smith. Goloubef has performed and performed well on college before his draft year, which makes it easier on scouts. Goloubef's strengths sound Red Wings-like: "He sees the ice well and understands the game in terms of reads that he gives you and is able to play with and without the puck very well," is the ISS report on him.
-- Jake Gardiner, 6-2, defenseman, Minnetonka (Minnesota high school).
Gardiner really doesn't look like the Red Wings' type, but you never know. He's a slick skating blue-liner, who takes big chances, focusing on offense. Gardiner is heading to Wisconsin this fall. The Hockey News draft preview lists one NHL scout as calling Gardiner a "riverboat gambler."
-- Vyacheslav Voinov, 6-0, defenseman, Chelyabinsk (Russia).
Voinov has dropped in his rankings this season (he was rated 17th among skaters by ISS in November) and could be available at 30. Rated by ISS as the fifth best offensive defenseman in this draft, Voinov had already played in the Russian Super League. Not as good of a skater as Gardiner, but a better offensive threat.
Again, these are just some names of players that could be around at the end of the first round, not players who the Red Wings are likely to pick. I'd be surprised if the Red Wings moved up in the draft. But moving down to get perhaps a second- and third-round pick for the 30th is a good possibility. Detroit did that in 2006 and got Cory Emmerton and Shawn Matthias, which worked out very well.