Analysis: Red Wings Potential Pick at #8, Simon Nemec

In July, the Detroit Red Wings will pick at #8 in the NHL Entry Draft. Even though Detroit is in need of skilled forwards, if Simon Nemec is available with the 8th pick, Steve Yzerman is likely to draft the player that is likely the best defenseman in the draft.

Simon Nemec

Simon Nemec is a highly skilled and mobile right-shot defenseman from Slovakia. Nemec has represented Slovakia internationally for the last three years. Nemec has also played at various levels for his club team HK Nitra in each of these years. In 2019-2020, Nemec played 13 games in the U20 Slovakian league, scoring three goals, five assists, eight points, and a -1 rating. Nemec also made his professional debut playing 12 games and picking up three assists, and earning a +2 rating. Nemec was loaned to HK Levic (Slovakia2), where he played 20 games. Nemec scored two goals, six assists, eight points, and a -6 rating. Internationally, Nemec played four games at the U16 level scoring two goals, three assists, and five points. Nemec also played 21 games internationally at the U18 level scoring six goals, 10 assists, and 16 points.

In 2020-2021, Nemec played his first full season professionally. In 37 games, Nemec scored two goals, 17 assists, 19 points, and had a -10 rating. At the U18 level, playing for Slovakia, Nemec scored one goal, three assists, and four points in four games. Nemec also represented Slovakia at the World Junior Championships, where he picked up four assists in five games. Nemec ended his season playing five games for Slovakia in the IIHF World Championships, picking up one assist.

This season, Nemec played an even more significant role while playing professionally and internationally. In 39 regular-season games, Nemec scored one goal, 25 assists, 26 points, and had a +13 rating. In 19 playoff games, he scored five goals, 12 assists, 17 points, and had a +2 rating. Nemec also played in numerous international tournaments, including the Olympic Games, World Junior Championships, and is currently playing in the IIHF World Championships in Finland.

Nemec’s Final Rankings

NHL Central Scouting has Nemec as the 3rd ranked EU skater behind Juraj Slafkovsky (TPS, Liiga) and Joakim Kemell (JYP, Liiga). Nemec is also the 4th highest scoring EU defenseman in the draft behind Artyom Duda (Krasnaya Armiya Moskva, MHL), Calle Odelius (Djurgardens IF J20, J20 Nationell), and Kasper Kulonummi (Jokerit U20, U20 SM-sarja). Duda scored 41 points in 52 games and is the #28 ranked EU skater, according to the NHL Central Scouting Bureau.

Why would Nemec be a good pick for Detroit?

Nemec is a highly skilled and mobile defenseman that can play at both ends of the ice. Even though Detroit needs skilled forwards, there is no doubt that if Nemec is available at #8, the Red Wings would draft him and add him to the stable of terrific defense prospects in the Detroit organization. With Nemec being a right-shot defenseman, he would compliment left-shot prospects such as Simon Edvinsson, Albert Johansson, and Jared McIsaac. The addition of Nemec to the Detroit defense would provide a young nucleus of defensemen for the next decade.

Nemec would likely start next year in Grand Rapids (AHL). With over two seasons of professional experience, Nemec wouldn’t need much time to develop against older and stronger players. My guess is that if Detroit drafts Nemec at #8, he would be in the NHL full-time by the trade deadline next year.

Final Thoughts

Detroit will likely draft the solid defender if Simon Nemec is still available at #8. He is one of, if not the best defenseman in the draft. It would be nice to have an opportunity to draft a right-shot defenseman who will likely play in the NHL full-time before his 20th birthday.

Preseason Storylines The Production Line Podcast

After an eventful trip up to Traverse City, the Red Wings have begun preseason action. In this episode, we recap Detroit's games versus Pittsburgh and Chicago while also pointing out top performers. We also give our biggest storylines around the rest of the preseason. Thanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Preseason Storylines
  2. Edvinsszn
  3. Prospect Tournament Preview and Questions Heading into Next Season
  4. Zadina and Make-or-Break Players
  5. Red Wings at the WJC

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