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Detroit Red Wings Recent Draft Picks Shining Despite Lottery Luck

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Lucas Raymond is the highest draft pick made by the Detroit Red Wings in 30 years after being drafted fourth overall in the 2020 NHL draft. The 19-year-old was one of the leading scorers on a Red Wings team that has not made the NHL playoffs in six seasons. These six seasons are now tied for the longest amount of time since the team has made the playoffs.

One reason for this playoff drought is the fact that they have not had lottery luck when it comes to “winning” the draft lottery. After winning 17 games during the 2019-20 season, the Red Wings had the best odds to get the number one overall pick at 18.5%. The team would have certainly drafted left-winger Alexis Lafrenière with the first pick. The highly sought-after prospect would instead be taken by the New York Rangers.

The Rangers had the number two overall pick in the previous draft. In 2019 the team would select right-winger Kaapo Kakko out of Turku, Finland. Kakko and Lafrenière are part of the young corps of Rangers talent. The average age of these three young Rangers is 21 years old. What remains to be seen is whether or not the team can win with these young players. The Rangers are currently playing the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

The Red Wings fell to the fourth draft spot during that draft. Little did Red Wings fans know was that general manager Steve Yzerman would have a plan when it came to the draft. The team would select left-winger Raymond out of Gothenburg, Sweden. Raymond was a Calder Trophy candidate early in the 2021-22 NHL season. He finished the season with 23 goals and 34 assists for a total of 57 points in 82 games played. That was the third-most points for the Red Wings behind Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi.

Moritz Seider Shines Despite Lack of Detroit Red Wings Lottery Luck

Moritz Seider will likely win the Calder Trophy as the top rookie in the NHL for the 2021-22 season. Seider finished the season with 7 goals and 43 assists in 82 games played for the Red Wings. He has certainly come a long way since shocking the hockey world on the night he was drafted sixth overall. Yzerman must have known that the player he was selected as an exceptional talent.

Yzerman was upset that the Rangers were able to win the draft lottery two seasons in a row. He was diplomatic with his reaction, though. “There is no sense complaining. I’m not losing a minute of sleep over it.” he was quoted as saying at the time. That is not to say that the Red Wings will not draft a talented player with the number eight overall pick. Yzerman has proven that over the time he has been the general manager of the Red Wings he will take the player that he sees as the best fit for the team.

One of the biggest positions of need for the Red Wings is on defence. The team has had a severe lack of talent on the blue-line since the retirement of Nicklas Lidström in 2012. The hall-of-famer made up for a lot of flaws when it came to the Red Wings’ defensive corps. I have previously written that one Red Wings defenseman that has not panned out is Filip Hronek. Hronek was drafted 53rd overall in the second round of the 2016 NHL entry draft.

Up stepped Yzerman to the stage at the 2019 NHL entry draft in Vancouver, British Columbia. “With the sixth pick in the draft, the Red Wings select from Manheim of the DEL Moritz Seider.” The gasps heard around Rogers Arena were audible. NHL Central Scouting ranked Seider as the sixth-best prospect among EU skaters. The signs that Seider could prove these scouts wrong were evident right away in his brief stint with Rögle BK.

The Red Wings also have many defensive prospects in their minor league system. Simon Edvinsson and Elmer Söderblom may make their way to North America next season. Edvinsson was drafted sixth overall in the 2021 draft and Söderblom was a sixth-round pick. The fact is that teams need to make smart draft decisions at whatever slot they are picking. Whether it is right-winger Joakim Kemell or center Jonathan Lekkerimäki or some other player that the Red Wings’ scouting department identifies as supremely talented, the team will have the chance to draft a talented player.

The Red Wings have the eighth overall pick in the 2022 NHL draft. The team could select plenty of talented players with this pick. The team lacks a true number one center that is a superstar that can put the puck in the net. This is something that does not grow on trees. One of these is Shane Wright who is almost certain to be drafted number one overall in this draft by the Montreal Canadiens. The first round of the NHL draft is scheduled for Thursday, July 7th.

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