The 2011 NHL draft produced many young talents who are now making a name for themselves in the league.
Seventeen of the first 20 players taken in the first round have made their way into the NHL—and one has already been named captain of his club (Gabriel Landeskog in Colorado).
The biggest steal of the draft so far appears to be Ondrej Palat of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Taken in the seventh round (208th overall), Palat is a Calder Trophy finalist after scoring 23 goals and a team-leading 59 points in 81 games.
The Detroit Red Wings made more than a few quality selections of their own in 2011.
To build the suspense, they did not make a first-round selection, having traded the 24th overall pick to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for the 35th and 48th picks in the draft.
Detroit turned those specific picks into forward Tomas Jurco and defenseman Xavier Ouellet, respectively.
This summer brings opportunity for members of Detroit’s 2011 draft class. A few have stepped onto the ice at the NHL level already, but they could have the opportunity to do so regularly next season.
Others may be at a crossroads in their careers. Either unable to advance through the minor leagues or suffering setbacks off the ice, this summer could be a turning point in these players' lives.
On the week of the 2014 NHL draft, here is an update on Detroit’s 2011 draft class.