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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The big 3-0

It wouldn't be surprising if the Red Wings traded their first-round pick in the NHL draft (starts at 7 p.m. Friday on Versus) to get a couple of lower-round picks, especially Detroit having traded away its second-round pick to get Brad Stuart. Should the Red Wings keep the 30th overall selection -- and it's not very likely that they'd have enough ammunition or desire to trade up for a player -- the draft deck will likely be heavy with forwards at that point.

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

no goalies on yr list (unlike a lot of MSM mock drafts, etc.)

Any thoughts on whether the Wings go for a goalie and, if so, who?

June 19, 2008 at 10:38 PM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

A goalie is possible, but if two or three are gone, then not likely IMO. Both Jacob Markstrom and Jake Allen seem to have excellent upsides. Chet Pickard and Thomas McCollum are higher ranked by ISS, but The Hockey News has Markstrom as its top draft netminder.
Personally, I don't see the Wings investing a No. 1 in a goalie. Not with what's available at 30 and not with Osgood, Howard and Larsson in the system and not with potential free agents like Ryan Miller on the horizon.

June 19, 2008 at 11:03 PM 
Blogger Assesstheend said...

I thought the same as your about not using their first pick on a goalie.

Do you think this is sort of a lack of faith in their other goalie prospects or maybe that they are already comfortable with so many of their forward and defensive prospects that they wanted to grab another solid goaltender?

June 21, 2008 at 12:58 AM 
Anonymous SYF said...


If it seems plausible, I think the Wings are trying to make a package deal for Ryan Miller IF the Sabres decide to put him up as a tradebait for prospects and draft picks. I wouldn't mind giving up McCollum, another prospect, and a late-round pick for Miller. In my opinion, Wings have pretty good depth at the goalie position to begin with. If is any indication, we still have Larsson, Berkhoel, Koopmans, in addition to Howard in the Wings farm.

June 25, 2008 at 4:22 PM 

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