Sifting through Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman’s press conference

It is not often Steve Yzerman speaks to the media, roughly twice a year. This past week was one of those times, a pre NHL Draft press conference where in classic Yzerman fashion he left media members, fans and the rest of the hockey world guessing what he is going to do. Armed with 10 draft picks including two in the first round and three (in a row) in the second round Yzerman has the ammo to improve his team, be it drafting or trading.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – JULY 07: General manager Steve Yzerman
of the Detroit Red Wings looks on during the first round of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

This should probably be noted first, Steve Yzerman said that he is willing to do what it takes to improve his team and “I’ll live with the fallout.” This sounds like the savvy GM is willing to part with players who seemingly were though to be part of the Red Wings core. No matter if Yzerman does trade someone or not, he is not ruling it out if it will improve his team.

On draft picks while saying he is planning on making the ninth overall first round draft pick his wording on the #17 overall draft pick was curious as he stated “I am going to use the #17 pick.” So Yzerman is going to make the ninth pick and use the #17 pick? To the untrained ear it sounds like he is preparing to trade that pick. It is known Detroit has spoken to the Philadelphia Flyers about Travis Konecny and are being heavily linked to Ottawa Senators, Alex DeBrincat.

Steve Yzerman understands the value of having multiple draft choices including the three in a row second rounders. “I’ve never had three picks in a row, particularly three in the second round,” Yzerman said. “That’s interesting. Those picks tend to be valuable if you look at every team’s draft grid, a lot of them don’t have first or second-round picks and potentially are looking to acquire that.” Again it does not appear at this time Detroit will be making all of those picks.

DETROIT, MI – MARCH 30: Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings gets set for the face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on March 30, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit defeated Carolina 3-2. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

So what will Detroit’s draft strategy look like? The organization will not target a certain position but is seeking the best player on the board. Detroit still trying to build a core of players around center and team captain Dylan Larkin.┬áIn a year where this is perhaps the strongest group of draft prospects in a while, the Detroit Red Wings are open for business as Steve Yzerman is ready to improve the roster for a playoff push.

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