Embed from Getty Images Not to long ago Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman was asked about the prospects he had. After giving an overview Yzerman said “we need more.” Last night Steve Yzerman took a step at adding more prospects and then again this afternoon at the NHL trade deadline.
Last night Steve Yzerman sent veteran defensman Mike Green to the Edmonton Oilers for a fourth round draft pick. Not bad when you figure in that Green is in the worst season of his NHL career.
Then came this afternoon when Yzerman traded forward Andreas Athanasiou also to the Oilers. Yzerman said that several teams had inquired or expressed a serious interest in Athanasiou. The trade that was made gives the Red Wings two second round draft picks in 2020 and 2021. For the 2020 draft the Red Wings now look like this:
1- 1st round
3- 2nd round
2- 3rd round
1- fourth round
1- 7th round
It should be noted again that former Detroit Red Wings general manager who used to fill the chair that now seats Yzerman in Detroit, Ken Holland is now calling the shots in Edmonton. Holland knows both Green and Athanasiou well from his Detroit days. Yzerman said it was not intentional to make two trades to the same team. He was simply looking for the best return for players.
The fact Steve Yzerman deemed two second round picks more valuable to the Detroit Red Wings rebuild than the 25 year old Andreas Athanasiou speaks volumes as to what Yzerman likes in his players. Athanasiou has unworldly speed, and great hands. Yet, Athanasiou does not play defense well or at all at times and has lapses offensively.
Trying to add draft picks and prospects is the foundation of any rebuild. Yzerman said several NHL teams, expressed interest in Athanasiou. He has 10 goals and 14 assists and an NHL worst minus 45 rating in 46 games this season.
Was it an eye popping deadline? No, but it was part of Yzerman’s plan to rebuild the franchise he so dearly loves. Will the Red Wings hit on all of their draft picks? That is highly doubtful. However, the more picks he has the numbers increase that the Detroit Red Wings will walk away with enough talent to add to the core players and begin to turn the Red Wings into a playoff contender again.