Cleat Geeks

Winged Wheel Watch: NHL draft round-up

As their rebuild continues, the Detroit Red Wings are hot off of ten selections in the 2018 NHL entry draft. And, by all accounts, general manager Ken Holland and company made the most of them, putting together a very solid draft.

Here’s what you need to know about the selections made by the Red Wings.

Image result for filip zadina

Photo by; Freep.com

Filip Zadina, RW/LW (round 1, 6th overall)

Age: 18

Height/weight: 6’0″/196 lbs

Shoots: Left

Amid heavy speculation that they’d select a defenseman, the Red Wings were presented an unexpected opportunity as Czech winger Filip Zadina, a projected top three pick, fell squarely into their laps.

Widely considered one of the best offensive prospects available in this year’s draft, Zadina impressed in the QMJHL last season with the Halifax Mooseheads, scoring 82 points (44 goals, 38 assists) and recording a +23 +/- rating in 57 games. Zadina’s accurate release on his shot, per EliteProspects.com’s Curtis Joe, is a defining aspect of his offensive game. Joe also notes that, in addition to his scoring and playmaking abilities, Zadina is a strong two-way player, arguably the strongest in the draft, who’s adept at breaking up the passing lanes and creating issues in the defensive zone.

The Red Wings have long needed an elite offensive player, and Filip Zadina fits the bill.

Image result for joseph veleno

Photo by; MIHockey

Joseph Veleno, C (round 1, 30th overall)

Age: 18

Height/weight: 6’1″/192 lbs

Shoots: Left

Another pick that fell squarely into their laps, Veleno was projected as a mid-first round pick by most outlets. But there he was for the taking at 30th overall.

Once considered a generational talent, Veleno became the fifth player in the history of the Canadian hockey system to be granted exceptional player status. Though he hasn’t lived up to that label, there is still a lot to like. Across 64 games with Saint Johns and Drummondville of the QMJHL, Veleno recorded 79 points (22 goals, 57 assists). EliteProspects notes Veleno’s speed and his ability to make plays while going at top capacity are among his most desirable assets. They also note his vision of the ice, as well as a refined defensive game that makes him a viable two-way threat.

He’s not as exciting as Zadina, but Veleno holds the potential to slot in well with a future generation of Red Wings centers led by Dylan Larkin and last year’s ninth overall pick Michael Rasmussen.

Other PicksImage result for jonatan berggren

The Red Wings continued with an offensive trend with their first selection of the second round, using their #33 pick on 17-year-old Swedish winger Jonatan Berggren, a player described by Draft Europe as agile, able to control the puck well, and make Image result for jared mcisaacthreading passes.

The Red Wings took their first defenseman in the second round, as they selected Jared McIsaac three picks later at #36. A teammate of Zadina’s in Halifax, McIsaac is a good skater that is primarily an offensive blue liner with a left-handed shot, more than worthy of his position in the draft.

The Red Wings further shored up their blue line as they snagged Alec Regula, a big (6’4″, 205 lbs), 17-year-old, right-handed shooting defenseman, as a sleeper pick at #67. A local product from West Bloomfield, Michigan, Regula is described by Future Considerations as being mobile for his size, with a penchant for making safe decisions in his handling of the puck. He, along with McIsaac, bolsters a crop of young blue liners waiting for their chance at the NHL level.

Image result for alec regula

The Red Wings further added depth at defense by taking right-handed blue liner Seth Barton (#81), as well as goaltending depth with Swedish prospects Jesper Eliasson (#84) and Victor Brattstrom (#160). They also added a power forward in Ryan O’Reilly (#98).

Overall

It’s hard not to like what Holland and company did with this draft, particularly their first couple of rounds. With some potentially elite offensive talent, as well as appealing defensive pickups, his next chapter is off to about as strong of a start as one could hope for.

However, the task becomes more daunting as free agency looms on the horizon, with key restricted free agents such as Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, and Tyler Bertuzzi, headlining the list.

What did you think of the Red Wings’ draft this year? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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