After missing the playoffs for the first time since 1990 the Red Wings entered the 2017 NHL Entry Draft with the 9th overall pick, their first top ten pick since 1991 where they had selected Martin Lapointe 10th overall. With 11 picks in this year’s draft and six in the first three rounds, the Wings were able to sufficiently stock the cupboards for the future. The Red Wings drafted quite a few physical players in 2017 and with only two of the 11 picks under 6-2, they definitely added size to their prospect list.
Here is the breakdown on their selections:
Michael Rasmussen: 1st round, 9th overall
Big bodied forward that excels along the boards and on the down low cycle in the offensive zone. He has soft hands in traffic, quick feet for his size and he displayed solid scoring instincts. After tallying 43 points in 63 games in his first season in the WHL, Bob McKenzie had the big forward ranked 13th on his preseason list coming into last season. He lived up to the hype of Mckenzie's ranking by scoring 32 goals and 55 points in 50 games played for the Tri-City Americans. His goal total is impressive but many scouts were equally impressed with his playmaking abilities. His 5v5 production was a concern for some analysts as Rasmussen only recorded 19 points at even strength in the 50 games he played. The Red Wings like to take their time with their prospects so unless Rasmussen has an outstanding training camp; don't expect him to be in the NHL full time until at least the 2018-2019 season.
Gustav Lindstrom: 2nd round, 38th overall
Lindstrom is a 6-2, 187 lbs right handed Swedish defender that was ranked 25th on NHL Central Scouting's final list of European skaters. Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman and former Red Wing Nicklas Lidstrom had this to say about the young swede, “Gustav is good with the puck and good at finding open players with his first pass. He plays hard and his ‘compete level’ is high. Room for improvement in his skating but that will come as he plays against older players this year.” In 48 games with Almtuna IS of the Allsvenakan Lindstrom recorded two goals, nine points and was a minus -11. The Red Wings surprised many by selecting the young swede in the second round (earlier than expected) and Lindstrom can definitely be considered a project at this point. He will be brought along slowly by the organization and will continue to play in Sweden for a couple seasons before coming over to North America to develop in the AHL.
Kasper Kotkansalo: 3rd round, 71st overall
A little bit of a sleeper pick, Kotkansalo is a Finnish defenseman that displayed two-way upside and a willingness to play a physical style this season. He often played with a defense first mentality but he carries the puck well and makes a solid first pass out of the zone. In the 2015-2016 season Kotkansalo played for the Blues U20 team of the Jr. A SM-liiga where he had four goals, 19 points and was a plus -9 in 48 games played. Last season he came over to North America and played for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL where he had one goal, 12 points and was a plus -12 in 47 games. His lack of offensive production can be taken with a grain of salt as the Stampede were a low scoring team who's leading scorer had 36 points in 54 games. Starting this season Kotkansalo will take his reliable play to Boston University where he will continue to develop for a couple seasons before likely heading to the AHL for a further seasoning.
Lane Zablocki: 3rd round, 79th overall
After finishing his second season in the WHL, Zablocki ended up at 52nd on NHL Central Scouting's final list for North American skaters. In his first season in the WHL in the 2015-2016 season Zablocki tallied 37 points in 72 games. In January of this year he was traded from the Regina Pats to the Red Deer Rebels and continued to develop his offensive game scoring 54 points in 64 games. His eight points and six goals in six playoff games this season showed his ability to step up when his team needed him most. Zablocki is a versatile forward with the ability to play in different roles and on different lines. He contributes not only on the PP but also on the PK. He isn't overly flashy but he plays a tenacious style and isn't afraid to go to the dirty areas. Overall, he is a jack of all trades type player that isn't great at any one particular area. Zablocki will most likely return to Red Deer for this season and then will need a couple seasons in the AHL to develop.
Zach Gallant: 3rd round, 83rd overall
With their third pick in round three of the draft the Red Wings selected Zachary Gallant who was one of the OHL's most improved players last season. In the 2015-2016 season Gallant managed only four points and no goals in 51 games whereas he tallied 47 points in 60 games last season. His offensive progression has been a nice compliment to his high level of intensity, his solid defensive game, his ability to play a physical style and his strong face off skills. Gallant will most likely play a couple more seasons in the OHL before continuing his development in the AHL. He is far from a finished product but definitely has upside at the pro level. His complete skill set combined with his developing offence should make a top nine forward for Detroit in the future.
Keith Petruzzelli: 3rd round, 88th overall
With their fourth and final pick in the third round the Red Wings selected towering goaltender Keith Petruzzelli. The tall goaltender measured in at 6-5 and 174 lbs at the NHL combine. At the end of the season the American goaltender was ranked as the #2 goalie in North America by NHL Central Scouting and was ranked 53rd on Bob McKenzie's final list.
In 35 regular season games with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL Petruzzelli recorded a 22-10-1 record with a 2.40 GAA and a .918 sv%. He is an intelligent and confident goalie that tracks pucks very well and is positionally solid. He knows how to use his size to his advantage but can also make athletic saves. He has a habit of going down to his knees more than he needs to and his skating has room for improvement. Petruzzelli is raw and like most goaltender prospects, he will need time to develop. He will be playing for Quinnipiac University next season and for the next couple years before hopefully moving on to the AHL for further development.
Malte Setkov: 4th round, 100th overall
At 6-4 Setkov is a huge defensive defenseman from Denmark that played for the Malmö RedHawks J20 of the SuperElit where he compiled two goals, 12 points, and 18 PIMs and was plus -7 in 38 regular season games. He has solid mobility for his size and remains poised when pressured by forecheckers. His size allows him to effectively eliminate opponents along the boards and he uses his long reach very well to block passing lanes. He makes an accurate breakout pass and was utilized more so on the PK than the PP. Setkov was not ranked by most if not all of the main scouting services and can be considered an off the board pick who's upside is relatively unknown.
Cole Fraser: 5th round, 131st overall
Big and strong defender that plays a physical style and isn't afraid to drop the gloves when necessary. A bit of an under the radar player, Fraser was ranked 197th by NHL Central Scouting for their final list. In 61 regular season games played last season Fraser compiled six goals, 19 points, 82 PIMs and was a plus -4. He was used as a forward at times during the season which he says helped his ability to read plays. Fraser will most certainly need time to develop and, like many of Detroit's 2017 draft selections, can be considered a project. When asked about his strong physical play Tyler Wright, the Red Wings director of amateur scouting had this to say, "We drafted him purely for that reason. We're not expecting him to run a power play by any means but when he's out there, people are going to be aware of him being on the ice. He's going to make life miserable for the opponent's skilled players…" Fraser will be given plenty of time to refine the rest of his game before he is looked at as a legitimate candidate to make the NHL.
John "Jack" Adams: 6th round, 162nd overall:
Adams is a huge 6-5, 200 lbs winger that was born in 1997 and in his third year of draft eligibility. Last season, in his second year in the USHL with the Fargo Force, Adams saw his offensive production take a significant climb upwards as he scored 37 goals and 60 points in 56 games compared to eight goals and 24 points in 54 games the season prior. His size in combination with his slick puck skills allows him to shield the puck from defenders as well as maneuver his way through traffic. What he lacks in skating speed and efficiency, he makes up for with strong vision and solid hockey sense. He needs to get stronger and learn to be more physically assertive along the boards. Yet another off the board pick for Detroit, Adams is still raw, despite being 20-years-old, and can be considered a project. He will play for Union College this season and for the next couple years where he will hopefully polish the deficiencies in his game.
Reilly Webb: 6th round, 164th overall
Big, 6-3 right handed defender that missed the majority of the last two seasons due to a dislocated shoulder and lacerated ankle during the 2015-2016 season and then shoulder surgery on the same shoulder last season. He had one assist in 12 games played for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL last season. Having only played 20 regular season OHL games the past two seasons, Webb's development hasn't gone exactly as planned but by many accounts his upside is high. When healthy, Webb is a physical defender with a high compete level and very good mobility. He controls the gap well which makes it hard for opposing forwards to maneuver around him. His offence is still a work in progress but he has a heavy slap shot and his skating allows him to jump up into the rush for the occasional scoring chance. He has the potential to be a minute munching shutdown defender but having missed so much time; Webb is considered a wildcard at this point and will need to stay healthy during this upcoming season.
Brady Gilmour: 7th round, 193rd overall
With their 11th and final pick of the draft the Red Wings selected Brady Gilmour who at 5-10 and 170 lbs is Detroit's smallest selection of 2017. The former sixth overall pick from the OHL draft hasn't quite lived up to expectations and become the offensively dominant threat many thought he would be but there is still plenty of time. In his rookie season in 2015-2016 with the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL Gilmour recorded seven goals and 23 points in 61 regular season games played. He followed up his rookie season with 26 goals and 47 points in 65 games last season. Gilmour is a smart offensive player that sees the ice well. He has solid puck control abilities and a quick release on his shot. The concern with Gilmour is that he lacks strength and his skating speed needs to be better for a player his size. He was also bounced between wing and center often last season. There is upside with this player but he will need to become stronger and more explosive if he hopes to play in the NHL on day.
The Red Wings 2017 Development camp took place at Centre I.C.E Arena in Traverse City from July 7-11th. All 11 of the Detroit Red Wings 2017 draft picks attended the camp and there were 45 players (21 forwards, 18 defensemen, and six goalies) total attending the camp. Some of these players include '16 1st round pick Dennis Cholowski (D), '16 second round pick Filip Hronek (D), '15 third round pick Vili Saarijarvi (D), FA signing Libor Sulak (D), FA signing Matej Machovsky (G), among others.
Here is a list of camp invites:
Mitch Eliot (D) Michigan State
Adam Larkin (D) Yale
Tommy Marchin (LW) Brown
Brett Supinski (C) Union
Evan Fiala (D) WHL Spokane/Saskatoon
Alex Peters (D) OHL Flint
Oliver Castleman (RW) OHL Niagara
Isaac Johnson (C) USHL Des Moines
Sean Josling (C) OHL Sarnia
Luke Kutkevicius (C) OHL Hamilton
Michael Pastujov (LW) USDP
Graham Slaggert (C) USDP
Kaden Fulcher (G) OHL Hamilton
European Free Agent Invites:
Tomas Dvorak (D) Czech
Development Camp Notes:
– Defensemen Vili Saarijarvi and Filip Hronek were two of the biggest stand outs in camp especially during the 4v4 scrimmage where they could both really show their offensive flair. Tyler Wright, the Wings' director of amateur scouting, had this to say about the young defenders, "You can get better but they think the game and they have the skill set to be able to work on the power play, be those type of guys," Wright said. "So when you see them physically get stronger, you see them coming into this camp and being one of the leaders this year, rather than a guy that's just kind of in the mix, yeah, it gets you excited.”
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said this about the two players, "It's not the type of hockey you play most of the time in the NHL but I would say both Saarijarvi and Hronek, that I know our scouts are excited about the years they've had in major junior hockey and I thought both of those guys played very well (Sunday) and showed I think transferrable type skill sets that can lead to success. I hope they have real good years in Grand Rapids."
– In Sunday's scrimmage Givani Smith delivered a hit to Gustav Lindstrom who's head ended up hitting off the glass possibly giving the young swede a mild concussion. Doctors recommended that he get some rest and not skate for a couple days.
–Lane Zablocki missed the Sunday Scrimmage as well as some of the other on ice sessions due to issues with his foot. Luke Esposito and Chase Pearson sat out of the scrimmage for unknown reasons.
– 2017 1st round pick Michael Rasmussen did not participate in the scrimmage which was expected. He is fully recovered from a fractured wrist but it still needs build up strength before he will be cleared to play.
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