NHL Draft 2013: Detroit Red Wings' Best-Case Scenarios for 1st 3 Rounds
The Red Wings are picking No. 18 overall, the highest they've picked since 1991 when they picked Martin Lapointe 10th.
But who the Red Wings will have on the board at No. 18 (assuming they stay at that spot) is up for debate, as this draft promises to be very deep.
But who will the Red Wings be looking at for their picks in rounds 1-3?
Here are three prospects that could be available in the first three rounds of the 2013 NHL Draft.
Third Round: Nathan Geertsen, Defenseman, Vancouver Giants WHL
Nathan Geertsen finished at No. 59 for skaters in the NHL Central Scouting rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft.
Geertsen's "talent analysis" on HockeysFuture.com says that he is a "big, tough, rearguard. Already NHL-sized. Established early as a player prepared to take on WHL heavyweights. Able to control opponents in defensive zone. Should become more involved offensively as skating improves."
The obvious thing that is noticed about Geertsen is the ability to knock other players off of the puck. Geertsen takes the body on a regular basis and he doesn't care whether he is taking the hit or giving the hit.
Geertsen put up 14 points in 73 WHL games last year between the Edmonton Oil Kings and the Vancouver Giants.
He obviously isn't the next two-way defenseman that the Detroit Red Wings have been searching for to take the place of the likes of Brian Rafalski, but Geertson does seem to have the raw talent and ability to play at a hard-hitting, second or third pairing level in the NHL, assuming he can get his offensive game on track in the NHL.
The Red Wings have the No. 79 pick in the third round, so Geertson could still be on the board at that point.
Second Round: Michael McCarron, Right Wing, USA U-18
Michael McCarron was ranked by NHL Central Scouting as the No. 35 North American skater overall in the final rankings.
The immediate thing about McCarron is that he is a massive man to try and move off of the puck. McCarron is strong on the puck, but does not hesitate to get himself to the goal in order to provide a screen or deflection if necessary.
McCarron is 6'5" and 228 pounds before the NHL Draft, meaning he does not have to grow anymore or put on any more weight if he doesn't want to.
The downside to McCarron is that because the Red Wings do not pick until No. 48, they could very well be too late to select the mammoth American right-winger.
The Red Wings need another big bodied winger to take a spot on their top two lines. Although McCarron would be a work in progress, he would be an excellent selection with the Red Wings' second-round choice, assuming he is still on the board.
First Round: Anthony Mantha, Right Wing, Val D'Or, QMJHL
It's plain and simple; Anthony Mantha would be a gift if he fell into the Detroit Red Wings' lap at No. 18 overall.
Mantha, the only player in the QMJHL to hit 50 goals this season, is a truly gifted skater and goal scorer, but has not gotten as much recognition as other players.
The reason that he hasn't gotten as much recognition as other top players is that Mantha is just No. 10 in the Final NHL Central Scouting rankings.
Although he was ranked in one of my other Bleacher Report articles as a "realistic possibility" for the Red Wings in the first round, the fact of the matter is that he would have to fall a few spots to make it into the Red Wings' arms at No. 18 overall.
Detroit has long been without a pure "shoot first" type of player, and Mantha could eventually fill that void if the Red Wings have the fortune of getting him with their first-round selection.
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