Detroit Red Wings 2012 NHL Draft Picks: Grades, Results and Analysis
No, the above picture is not of a young Rick Springfield and John Travolta, it's 1983 first-round draft pick Steve Yzerman and then-Head Coach Nick Polano. The Red Wings hit a home run that year, even if they stopped drafting after the first round.
However, they went on to draft Bob Probert in the third round, Petr Klima and Joey Kocur in the fifth round and Stu Grimson in the 10th round.
This year's draft certainly doesn't offer the promise and hope of 1983, but it does feel like a rebirth of sorts with the retirement of longtime defenseman and captain Nick Lidstrom. The Red Wings will most likely make the biggest adjustments to their roster via free agency and potentially trades.
That doesn't mean that the scouts haven't been hard at work trying to find the next late-round steal. After all, Pavel Datsyuk was quite a find in the sixth round of 1998 at pick 171. "Eurotwin" Henrik Zetterberg was taken a year later and a round later at pick number 210.
Detroit has six picks in this year's NHL draft and will certainly be looking to build on a storied tradition of finding greatness in the later rounds. They gave up their first-round pick to Tampa for Kyle Quincey in a trade last spring, so Ken Holland will have to wait until day two of the draft before he flexes his brain cells.
The first round of the draft is Friday, and Rounds 2 through 7 are Saturday. So much for looking for the second coming of Stu Grimson in this year's 10th round.
Here is the lineup for the Detroit Red Wings draft 2012:
Round 2 - 49th overall
Round 3 - 80th overall
Round 4 - 110th overall
Round 5 - 140th overall
Round 6 - 170th overall
Round 7 - 200th overall
Barring any trading of spots, the front office in Motown will be hard at work looking for another diamond (or two) in the rough.
Post Draft- Now that the draft has ended, here are the 2012 Detroit Red Wings draft picks.
Round 2, Pick 49- Martin Frk-RW- Halifax Mooseheads- 6'0"-198
- Patrick Sieloff - D - USNTP (USHL) - 6'0" - 198
- Ludvig Bystrom - D - Modo (Elitserien) - 6'1" - 208
- Sam Kurker- RW - Saint John's Prep (USHS) - 6'2" - 198
With the Red Wings' first overall pick, they will be in the second round at pick number 49. Giving up a first-round pick for Kyle Quincey doesn't sit well with most Red Wing fans, but there should still be some talent available when the draft carousel stops at Hockeytown.
Here are a few potential players who might be available for the taking:
Actual pick 49: Martin Frk- Frk is a right-winger from the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads. A native of the Czech Republic and is a 6'0" 198-pound forward. Last season in Halifax, Frk had 29 points in only 34 games after his season was cut short by a concussion. Concussion concerns caused his stock to fall a bit but Assistant GM Jim Nill was pleased to snag him at the 49th spot.
“We’re excited about him. He’s one of Czech’s top players. He had a tough year last year with injuries, but as an under-ager he was one of the top players at world juniors. Heavy body. Very competitive and he’s got some good skills.”
Detroit feels good about Frk, who was projected early on as a first round talent. Injury concerns, and the NHL spotlight on head injuries helped him fall into the Red Wings lap.
Notable NHL picks at (or around) 49:
- Mike Cammalleri
- Shea Weber
- Nicklas Lidstrom (53)
Round 3, Pick 80-Jake Paterson-G-Saginaw Spirit-6'2"- 183
- Jake Paterson - G - Saginaw Spirit (OHL) - 6'2" - 183
- Francois Tremblay - G - Val-d'Or Foreurs (QMJHL) - 6'2" - 186
- Brock McGinn - LW - Guelph Storm (OHL) - 5'11" - 174
The Red Wings' second pick comes in Round 3 at number 80. This might be a good spot to pick up a quality goalie of the top five or six are left. Jimmy Howard's 2011-12 campaign was flagged with a couple of tic-tac injuries, and Detroit had no one serviceable beyond Joey MacDonald to step in.
Potential picks at 80:
Actual pick 80: Jake Paterson-As much as I'd like to take some credit for "knowing" Detroit would take Paterson with their 3rd Round pick, anything outside of this year's top ten was a blind toss at the dart board. Paterson has been playing (relatively) local with Saginaw of the OHL the past two seasons. Detroit has high hopes for him after his strong finish and showing in the playoffs for the Spirit.
Paterson was pretty pumped about getting picked by the Wings and working with Jimmy Howard. "He's a tremendous goalie. Hoping to get the opportunity down the road to maybe work with him or, you know, take his No. 1 spot. We'll see.
Notable picks at (or around) 80:
- Esa Tikkanen
- Kris King
Round 4, Pick 110-Andreas Athanasiou-C/LW-London Knights-6'2"-165
- A.J. Michaelson - C - Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) - 6'1" - 192
- Jujhar Khaira - LW - Prince George Spruce Kings (BCHL) - 6'3" - 182
- Vyacheslev Osnovin - C - Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL) - 6'0" - 180
The fourth round has the Red Wings pick at 110. At this point, the premier prospects are probably off the board. Now it's time for the high-risk/high-reward players. The Red Wings are known for being successful when they roll the dice in Rounds 4 through 7.
Possible selections here:
Actual pick 110: Andreas Athanasiou of the London Knights was the Red Wings' pick at the 110th overall selection. "He's a great skater, great speed, so we're excited about his upside," Jim Nill said. A potential candidate for the Ricky Bobby school of hockey, Athanasiou will have a chance to coordinate his hands and feet for a few years before he has a legitimate shot at the Detroit roster.
- Miikka Kiprusoff (116)
- Dennis Vial
- Shane Churla
- Shawn McEachern
- Dave Lowry
- Pavel Bure (113)
Round 5, Pick 140-Michael McKee-D-Lincoln Stars-6'4"-230
- Adam Gilmour - RW - Nobles (USHS) - 6'2" - 193
- Joshua Hanson - D - Portland Winterhawks (WHL) - 6'3" - 199
- Jacob Montgomery - LW - Shattuck-St. Mary's (USHS) - 6'1" - 191
The Red Wings' fifth-round pick is at 140, where Ken Holland will try to catch late-round lightning in a bottle.
Here's some projected fifth-rounders that could help the franchise:
Actual pick 140: Michael McKee- D 6'4" 230 lbs--Remember what I said earlier about not being able to pick up Stu Grimson in the 10th round? McKee looks the part and his numbers seem to say that the Red Wings are looking to finally get some protection for their more skilled players (with all due respect to Mr. McKee). McKee racked up 237 penalty minutes in 59 games last season with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL. He'll have some time to "foil up" at Western Michigan University before he sees any time in Detroit.
Here are some notable NHL picks chosen at (or around) 140:
- Ryan Miller (138)
- Dave Brown
- Alexander Selivanov
Round 6, Pick 170-James DeHaas-D-Toronto Lakeshore-6'2"-200
- Troy Donnay - D - Erie Otters (OHL) - 6'7" - 180
- Valeri Vasiliev - D - Spartak (KHL) - 6'1" - 203
- Gianluca Curcuruto - D - Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds (OHL) - 6'0" - 195
Does Round 6 mean that it's time to throw darts at the prospect dart board and hope for the best? Considering the long list of NHL All-Stars who were drafted at 170 or later, there could still be some winners on the board.
Here's some projected sixth-round picks of interest:
Actual pick 170: James de Haas- Detroit went for defense again with de Haas, a 6'2" defenseman who has committed to playing at Clarkson before he turns pro. De Haas will play for Penticton in the British Columbia Junior League before heading to Clarkson.
Some notable NHL draft picks at (or around) 170:
- Theo Fleury (166)
- Luc Robitaille (171)
Round 7, Pick 200-Rasmus Bodin-C/RW-Ostersunds(SWE)6 6" 210
- Kevin Duane - RW - Brunswick Prep (USHS) - 6'4" - 219
- Tobias Tornkvist - RW - Rögle (Elitserien) - 6'4" - 190
- Dominic Toninato - C - Duluth East (USHS) - 6'1" - 165
The final round has the Red Wings picking at 200. While people may see leftovers, Red Wing scouts are looking for the lump of coal that can potentially be shaped and pressed into a diamond....or at least a serviceable bottom-six forward/cubic zirconium.
Here's some players that could still be lingering around Round 7:
Actual Pick 200: Rasmus Bodin- Bodin apparently is coming off of a growth spurt that now has him towering over his compatriots in Sweden. He has stated half joking "I quit hitting because every time I hit somebody, my elbow ends up in their head, they go into the boards, and I get penalized". A late round gamble by Wings super scout Hakan Andersson, Bodin will have some time to develop in his homeland before he heads to North America.
Detroit will hope that any one of these three can end up like the following picks at (or after) 200:
- Henrik Lundqvist (205)
- Pekka Riinne (258)
- Kimmo Timonen (250)
- Viacheslav Fetisov (201)
- Igor Larionov (214)
- Dominik Hasek (207)
- Nikolai Khabibhulin (204)
- Dave Taylor (210)
So what will Saturday bring to one of the most storied franchises in hockey? Chances are we probably won't know for at least a few years. As draft picks develop, Detroit is notorious for letting them "over-ripen" at the lower levels before bestowing the winged wheel upon them.
The perpetual success of the Red Wings means that unless they acquire a high draft pick in a trade, they'll never have a shot at one of the blue-chip prospects at the higher end of the draft. Hockeytown fans would certainly prefer to be in contention for the Stanley Cup than the draft lottery.
The minds of the Wings' front office have shown that sometimes there are some hidden gems in the later rounds of the draft.
Post Draft Analysis- The question marks remain as Detroit took some risks and banked on potential. Time will tell with the 2012 crop of draft picks as they will have ample time to develop in college, juniors, Scandinavia or in Grand Rapids.
There is no one on this list that is NHL-ready for at least the next couple of years, but I was encouraged by the pick of McKee that there is some acknowledgement that Detroit needs protection for their stars. Assigning that role to pedestrian sized Justin Abdelkader, or active senior Todd Bertuzzi, isn't fair to Abs and certainly could shorten his career. Bertuzzi is still a mountain of a man and strong enough, but his temperament has tapered since the Steve Moore incident.
With all the focus on the draft this week, Detroit is clearly positioning itself to make the most noise in free agency. Sure they'll look to build with the draft as well, but the franchise wants to win now, and the best way to complement their roster is with a bold free-agent acquisition or two.
With free-agent hunting season opening only one week after the draft on July 1st, the Red Wings' offseason plans will surely intensify. With a roster to fill and a captain to be named, the next month will be one of the most exciting in recent memory.
With the big trade of Jordan Staal to Carolina, and the Toronto-Philadelphia deal, we are reminded that all 30 teams are trying to get better. A deep pocket guarantees nothing, so the next ten days will be absolutely critical to shaping the 2012-13 NHL season.