Pavel Datsyuk Talks About the Winter Classic, Red Wings and the NHL Draft

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Pavel Datsyuk Talks About the Winter Classic, Red Wings and the NHL Draft
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Pavel Datsyuk was in New York City recently to promote next season's Winter Classic and, as always, talk a little hockey.

"It's good for hockey fans of both teams, for the NHL, and for people who live in Michigan," Datsyuk said. "When I grew up, lots of kids played outside; I played all day, every day almost." 

The Detroit Red Wings will host the Toronto Maple Leafs in an Original Six clash set at "The Big House"—the University of Michigan's football stadium.

The Red Wings were eliminated from the playoffs by the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals when Brent Seabrook scored at the 3:35 mark in overtime. As the Wings look to next season, they can find comfort in some sizable contributions from their young players. 

"Nyquist, Brunner, Andersson, they were unbelievable, especially in the playoffs," he said.

Their contribution was sizable, to say the least—that wasn't just a veteran talking up the team's young guns. Damien Brunner had nine points (five goals and four assists), Gustav Nyquist had five points (two goals and three assists) and Joakim Andersson also had five points (one goal and four assists). 

Detroit acquired Nyquist and Andersson through the NHL Draft, while Brunner signed with the Wings as a free agent. Nyquist was a fourth-round pick in 2008, and Andersson was a third-round pick in 2007.

Datsyuk was drafted by the Wings in the sixth round in 1998. Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg was also selected in a later round; he was drafted in the seventh round in 1999. 

There are plenty of examples of NHL teams grabbing gems in later rounds of the NHL Draft, but the Red Wings seem to do it better than anyone else.

How?

"Work," Datsyuk said. "They love to work."

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