Red Wings Draft Board Busy at 19
The 2015 NHL draft is just a few short hours away with the first round set to be picked on Friday night from the BB&T Center in South Florida. Just like we chronicled with the Pistons and their draft tonight, we look at some of the options the Detroit Red Wings have with their first selection in the draft at number 19.
A bit of backstory here, since the Red Wings have made the playoffs every year since
forever the 1990-91 season, a lot of their recent first round selections have come in this part of the draft. The last time Detroit selected 19th overall was in 2005 when they took Jakub Kindl.
Kevin Allen, USA Today Sports: Joel Eriksson-Ek, C, Farjestad Jr. (Sweden).
"The Red Wings have a long history of liking Swedish players and he could be a sleeper. A few teams have him ranked in the 10 to 12 range."
Adam Kimelman, nhl.com Writer: Noah Juulsen, D, Everett (WHL).
"The 6-2, 174-pound right-shot defenseman was well-regarded for his defensive skill and physical play, but this season he showed he could contribute in the offensive zone with nine goals and 52 points in 68 games."
Mike G. Morreale, nhl.com Writer: Yevgeny Svechnikov, LW, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
"Svechnikov is a power forward with decent speed and balance, good offensive hockey sense, and creative instincts. At 6-2 and 199 pounds, Svechnikov considers his game similar to that of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin."
Draftsite.com writer collaboration: Yevgeny Svechnikov, LW, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
"Big bodied Russian import who hands and feet can at times make him a dominant player in games. Has a good shot and feet. Possesses a big frame that has room for more weight. (6-2; 185 pounds)."
MLive's Ansar Khan weighs in on some of the other options should none of those players be available:
--Oliver Kylington, D, Farjestad Jr. (Sweden)
"A smooth skater with good hockey sense who moves the puck well and has some offensive ability. He shoots left."
--Jeremy Roy, D, Sherbrooke (QMJHL)
"A two-way right-shooting defenseman with offensive upside, he had 43 points, including 38 assists, in 48 games."
--Colin White, C, USNTDP (USHL)
"Two-way center who's strong on the puck despite average size (6-0, 175) and has a good shot."
Personally, I'm hoping for a big winger like Svechnikov or even Paul Bittner out of Portland in the WHL, though don't be surprised if a defenseman is taken. After last year's defenseman-less draft class for Detroit one may be drafted high this year. The blue line prospects down in GR (Ouellet, Marchenko, Sproul etc.) are ready to step up in the NHL, representing the last frontier of the youth movement in Detroit after forwards and netminder depth have been replenished with young talent.
It will all unfold Friday night with the first round selected in prime time on NBC sports and on Saturday all day for round two through seven found on the NHL Network.