Draft Day 1: Trades, Save Us!
For all the hype that goes into the NHL Draft, Detroit Red Wings followers will once again wait until day two for something to happen. Draft wise, that is.
The highest pick the Wings have had in the past few years was 19th overall; they drafted Jakub Kindl. The last time they picked in the top 10 was in 1991 when they took apparent 'Heir to Yzerman' Martin Lapointe 10th overall. So, from 1992 until now, looking at some of the Red Wings' first rounders is shocking to see how bad some of the picks actually were:
|Year||Pick||Player||Could Have Had|
|1992||22||Curtis Bowen||Micheal Peca|
|1993||22||Anders Eriksson||Todd Bertuzzi|
|1994||23||Yan Golubovsky||Jose Theodore|
|1995||26||Maxim Kuznetsov||Jochen Hecht|
|1996||26||Jesse Wallin||Matt Cullen|
|2005||19||Jakub Kindl||T.J. Oshie|
|2008||30||Thomas McCollum||Jacob Markstrom|
|2010||21||Riley Sheahan||Justin Faulk|
Let's assume Fischer would have been a serviceable defenceman now if not for his heart condition, and Kronwall and Smith are both good players. It's strange that of these first rounders, two (Fischer and Kronwall) of the eleven turned out to be above average (Smith is still a rookie).
Detroit has these first round picks so late because they finish high in the standings and make the palyoffs consistently. In a lot of fans' lifetimes they haven't see Detroit pick in the top ten, and when they do, it isn't pretty. Names like Yves Racine, Joe Murphy (first overall), Brent Fedyk, and Shawn Burr don't rekindle any fond memories, although Steve Yzerman at number four in 1983 might. That was 29 years ago.
Let's just say it's a good thing the Red Wings are trading away these first round picks, because the record states the first round has not been nice to them.
However, the Red WIngs have made out fairly well in the second round, drafting players like Darren McCarty, Mathieu Dandenault, Tomas Kopecky, Jiri Hudler, Tomas Fleischmann, Jimmy Howard, Justin Abdelkader, Shawn Matthias, Tomas Tatar, Calle Jarnkrok, Toomas Jurco, Ryan Sproul and Xavier Ouellet.
Hopefully, with the Red Wings' first pick at 49th overall in the second round, they can find someone that will turn out to be a serviceable NHL player.
In the meantime, the Red Wings will sit at their draft table on Friday, not drafting, but making some phone calls. Ken Holland has said he is active on the trade front and it could be a great opportunity to speak to other GM's face to face. With much trade speculation going on around the league, the first day of the draft might be the first day that some deals will be made. Hopefully, good ones for Detroit.