2011 NHL Draft: Comparing Detroit Red Wings Draft Prospects to NHL Talent

Kyle GibbonsAnalyst IIIJune 28, 2011

2011 NHL Draft: Comparing Detroit Red Wings Draft Prospects to NHL Talent

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    I watched live, with great anticipation as the 2011 NHL Entry Draft commenced last Friday. I was almost certain of how the Red Wings' draft would play out. I felt as if I could be part of the organization with my prophetic ignorance.

    I sat patiently, watching as 2011’s elite prospects were selected by NHL teams not named Red Wings.

    But I sat, sure that a marquee player would fall to Detroit.

    I was positive that Detroit was going to select Vladislav Namestnikov with the 24th overall selection.  

    Then it happened.

    In a trade with the Ottawa Senators, the Detroit Red Wings would trade out of the first round, exchanging their 24th overall selection for two second round selections.

    Initially I wasn’t very excited about the Detroit Red Wings trading out of the first round. Inappropriate verbiage on my part immediately followed the trade announcement.

    But then following what Detroit was able to do in the second day of the draft, I had made a miraculous recovery.

    Though the Red Wings traded out of the first round, they were still able to find first round talent in the second round. Tomas Jurco, and Xavier Ouellet could have easily been selected in the first round.

    Ryan Sproul was a value pick with the 55th overall selection.

    And to find Alan Quine in the third round is unbelievable, he’s about as solid a hockey player as young prospects come.

2nd Round, 35th Overall: Tomas Jurco

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    Estimated Time of Arrival: Two-Three Years

    Position: RW

    NHL Player Comparison: Pavel Datsyuk

    Tomas Jurco has exceptional size for a 19 year old wing. At 6’2" and 190 pounds, he isn’t far from the ideal size of an NHL forward.

    Jurco oozes confidence—he knows he’s good. He approaches every game unafraid to utilize those talents.

    He fell to the second round largely because he was buried on a STACKED Saint John team.

    Tomas Jurco is the prototypical Detroit Red Wings draft selection. It’s only a matter of time that Jurco becomes the next big Red Wings name.

    I believe that Jurco’s game strongly resembles that of Bruins forward Blake Wheeler. Though I consider Jurco to have the edge offensively.

2nd Round, 48th Overall: Xavier Ouellet

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    Estimated Time of Arrival: Three Years

    Position: D

    NHL Comparison: Nicklas Lidstrom

    If Tomas Jurco isn’t my favorite prospect in this year’s draft class then Ouellet is. I think that with the right direction, Ouellet could fill Lidstrom’s role in a few years.

    Xavier is a versatile do-it-all defenseman, who has the ability to effectively contribute with great plus/minus numbers.

    Ouellet has the skill set to be a future general in the Detroit Red Wings organization. 

2nd Round, 55th Overall: Ryan Sproul

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    Estimated Time of Arrival: Four Years

    Position: D

    NHL Comparison: Brian Rafalski

    Ryan Sproul was one of the better defensive prospects in 2011’s NHL Entry Draft—he is absolutely lethal from the blue line.

    Sproul’s style of play reminds me of a young Brian Rakalski, but he must work to become consistent in protecting his zone.

3rd Round, 85th Overall: Alan Quine

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    Estimated Time of Arrival: Four Years

    Position: C

    NHL Comparison: Darren Helm 

    Alan Quine is a North American do-it-all playmaker that, though undersized, utilizes his exceptional speed and quickness to more than compensate for his physical disposition. He has also shown the ability to dominate the face-off circle.

    Quine was instrumental in Team Canada's gold medal victory at Ivan Hlinka last August, and a steal in the third round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.