Wings Draft Jurco, Eight Others
The Detroit Red Wings made all nine of their picks in the 2011 NHL Entry draft today and to everyone's delight, they made their first pick a big one.
Detroit originally had the 24th pick overall, but traded it to the Ottawa Senators (who selected Matt Puempel) for the 35th and 48th picks in the second round, giving them three second round picks.
They used their 35th pick to take right winger Tomas Jurco from the Memorial Cup winning Saint John Seadogs and Xavier Ouellet from Montreal of the QMJHL with the 48th pick. Some have likened Jurco to that of one Pavel Datsyuk, which in itself is a huge compliment.
Jurco was dissapointed with not being selected in the first round, but said he is happy to be in Detroit because they know how to develop their prospects. If you haven't seen this video of his hand-eye coordination, then you either are from Mars or live under a rock:
Funny thing is, while that's impressive, I can do most of it. Proof to come at a later date!
Ouellet is originally from France is a built defenceman. He played in the QMJHL along with Jurco. Something that I noticed is that there are a lot of European players coming to Canada and the States to play juniors to get ready for the NHL. I think those guys really have the drive to want to learn the North American game. Even the culture barrier is broken earlier. Can you tell Gabriel Landeskog is Swedish? I couldn't, and even Jurco is getting better at English (better than Datsyuk, that's for sure).
The Wings followed Oullet up with Ryan Sproul, a defenceman from Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. In the third round they claimed Alan Quine from Peterborough and in the fourth they took Marek Tvrdon. Tvrdon was said to be considered a late first round pick at the beginning of the season but was injured 12 games in to the WHL season, where he played for the Vancouver Giants. He still managed 11 points.
With back to back picks in the fifth round, Detroit opted for Philippe Hudon and Mattias Backman. Hudon will play at the University of Denver next season, while Backman was selected out of Linkoping Jr. in Sweden. Their sixth round pick was Richard Nedomlel from the Swift Current Broncos, and their seventh round pick, the next Henrik Zetterberg/Nicklas Lidstrom/Pavel Datsyuk/Tomas Holmstrom/Johan Franzen, was Alexei Marchenko, a defenceman from CSKA in Russia.
Detroit had 9 picks in seven rounds thanks to two deals: one 5th round pick in the Ville Leino deal that saw OK Tollefsen and the pick come to Detroit, and the Senators trade.
Overall a good draft. I think Detroit should have pressed harder to get Brent Burns, but they know what they're doing. It's why they have the management jobs and I don't.