NHL Draft: Detroit Needs at the Draft

The Detroit Red Wings have ten selections in the NHL Entry Draft next week. The draft begins on Thursday night at 7:00 PM ET with the first round. Day 2 of the draft will begin at 11:00 AM ET on Friday. The draft will once again consist of seven rounds.

The Red Wings have the 8th overall pick in the first round. In addition, Detroit has two picks in round 2, one selection in the 3rd round, three picks in the 4th round, one selection in round 5, and two picks in round 7.

Detroit Red Wings Needs

The Detroit Red Wings finished 26 points behind the Washington Capitals for the final wild-card playoff spot. The Red Wings have collected an assortment of draft picks over the last several years of the rebuild. This year is no exception as the Red Wings will make ten selections this year, with seven in the first four rounds. The Red Wings need some draft luck and require players at several positions in order to continue to add depth throughout the organization.


#1 North American Prospect, Shane Wright (Kingston, OHL)

All championship teams have depth at the center ice position. This year, six of the top ten North American prospects play center. According to the NHL Prospect Rankings, Shane Wright (Kingston, OHL) is the top center available and is expected to be a Top three pick. According to the final NHL Draft Rankings, other top North American prospects include #2 Logan Cooley (USA U-18, NTDP), #4 Matthew Savoie (Winnipeg, WHL), #5 Conor Geekie (Winnipeg, WHL), #8 Luca Del Bel Belluz (Mississauga, OHL), and #10 Owen Beck (Mississauga, OHL).

The European prospect list includes two centers rated in the Top ten. Marco Kasper (Rogle BK, SHL) is ranked 5th and Brad Lambert (Pelican, Liiga) is ranked 10th.

Prediction: With the #8 selection, Detroit will pick either Matthew Savoie or Conor Geekie


#1 Eorpean Prospect, Juraj Slafkovsky (TPS, Liiga)

The Detroit Red Wings are in dire need of adding skilled wingers to their organization. This year, several prospects could fit this need. In North America, top wingers include #3 Cutter Gauthier (USA U-18, NTDP) and #9 Isaac Howard (USA U-18, NTDP).

There are several wingers ranked in the Top ten in the European rankings. Juraj Slafkovsky (TPS, Liiga) is the top European prospect. Slafkovsky is expected to be selected in the Top three of the draft. Other top wingers include #2 Joakim Kemell (JYP, Liiga), #6 Jonathan Lekkerimaki (Djurgardens IF, SHL), and #7 Danila Yurov (Magnitogorsk, KHL), and #8 Liam Ohgren (Djurgardens IF, J20 Nationell).

Prediction: With the #8 selection, Detroit will pick either Cutter Gauthier or Joakim Kemell


#3 Euopean Prospect Simon Nemec (HK Nitra, Slovakia)

In two of his three drafts as General Manager, Steve Yzerman has selected defensemen in the first round. This year’s Calder Memorial Trophy winner Moritz Seider was Yzerman’s first pick in the 2019 draft. In 2021, Yzerman selected top defense prospect Simon Edvinsson. This year, there are several top defense prospects available in the Top ten.

Pavel Mintyukov (Saginaw, OHL) is ranked 6th among North American Skaters and is the top ranked defense prospect in North America. Kevin Korchinski (Seattle, WHL) is the #7 ranked North American Skater.

Two European defense prospects are expected to be selected in the Top 10. Simon Nemec (HK Nitra, Slovakia) is the #3 ranked European Skater. David Jiricek (HC Plzen, Czechia) is the #4 ranked European Skater. Although both of these defensemen will likely be picked before Detroit’s selection, if either one is available, Yzerman would likely draft either Nemec or Jiricek with the 8th pick.

Prediction: With the #8 selection, Detroit will pick either Simon Nemec or David Jiricek

Final Thoughts

This draft is deep in top prospects. With the #8 pick, Detroit should get a top player who will fit nicely into the Red Wings’ youth movement. Steve Yzerman will select the player he believes is the best player available at #8. Red Wings fans should believe in the Yzerplan; every year, Yzerman selects players in the draft who are going to contribute to the next wave of playoff teams in Detroit.

Trade Targets and Mazur's Case The Production Line Podcast

With five picks in the top-50 of the 2023 NHL Draft, the Red Wings are in prime position to make a trade for a top-six forward. We breakdown fits of players that are potentially on the trade market and what a potential package could look like. We also start with how Red Wings at the World Championships are performing, focusing on Dominik Kubalik, Carter Mazur, and Lucas Raymond.
  1. Trade Targets and Mazur's Case
  2. Should They Stay or Should They Go?
  3. The Ninth Overall Pick and Playoff Check-In
  4. Red Wings' End of Season Review
  5. Light At the End of the Tunnel

Chris Giles

Chris Giles is a former junior hockey player and coach from Canada. He has been a diehard Detroit Red Wings fan for almost 50 years. Chris is an avid golfer who has volunteered at several PGA and Canadian Open Championships throughout North America.

2 thoughts on “NHL Draft: Detroit Needs at the Draft

  1. Wouldn’t it make sense to consider Joel Quennville a fair candidate to coach the Wings ?

    He’s got experience and is well disciplined enough to lead this team. The last thing we need, is another soft-spoken good sport behind the bench. Soft coaches make soft players.

    Quennville could teach a guy like Bertuzzi how to play like a man. So why not ask him if he wants the job ?

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