Steve Yzerman is building the Detroit Red Wings through the draft

Optimism has been extremely hard to come by for Detroit sports fans lately. The Pistons, Lions, Tigers and the Red Wings have not been good to say the least. Yet, for all the misery the Red Wings have one thing the other Detroit teams do not, a proven general manager. Steve Yzerman’s play for the Red Wings is to build his team through the draft. Something the other Detroit teams should mimic.

Two years into his job, Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman has had two very solid drafts. Drafts that have added to the Red Wings prospect pool. Coupled with Yzerman’s quote that “you can’t build a team through free agency,” Yzerman is using the NHL Draft to build his roster.

The Detroit Red Wings are signing low-term free agents that will help the team be a better. The catch is the players the Red Wings have signed can be flipped at the trade deadline for more draft picks. As they have value around the league.

Detroit Red Wings fans knew Yzerman would improve the team and organization. The Red Wings GM wants to avoid long term contracts for now and focus on putting the right group veteran players around his core players  and he wants to do it being cost effective.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 06: Detroit Red Wings team personnel work on their draft set before the first round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft at Little Caesars World Headquarters on October 06, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. The 2020 NHL Draft was held virtually due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Dan Mannes /NHLI via Getty Images)

The 2020-21 Detroit Red Wings should be a little better than last seasons and that is just fine. The Red Wings need to continue to get top 10 draft slots and the scouting department needs to continue to do their solid work.

Steve Yzerman built a Stanley Cup-winning team in Tampa Bay. It took time, it will take time in Detroit as well. But, Detroit sports fans have more faith in Stevie Y. than they do with the other general managers in the city putting their teams together.

Building through the draft is the right move no doubt about it.

The Detroit Red Wings 2020 draft class is in, let’s take a look

 Lucas Raymond, LW, William Wallinder, D, Theodor Niederbach, C, Cross Hanas, LW, Donovan Sebrango, D, Eemil Viro, D,  Sam Stange, RW, Jan Bednar, G, Alex Cotton, D, Kyle Aucoin, D, Kienan Draper, RW, Chase Bradley, LW are now part of the Detroit Red Wings organization.

It absolutely hurt the Detroit Red Wings not having the first pick in the draft.  Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman did the best he could and pulled off some really solid draft picks. Picks that will help the brutal rebuild the Red Wings are enduring.

Yzerman did score a home-run pick when the Red Wings selected Lucas Raymond. Defensman William Wallinder was thought to be a first round player but fell into the Red Wings lap with the first pick in round 2.

For Yzerman and his scouting department they did not have any big misses and were able to get volume which is what is needed for rebuilds. Theodor Niederbach and Cross Hanas in my opinion were very good picks for the draft slot. Both players have big upsides and project well at the NHL level.

“At the top of the draft, you’d like to think you have a little bit more certainty as to what the player is going to be and who the top, top prospects are,” Yzerman said after Wednesday night concluded the 2020 NHL Draft.

KELOWNA, BC – FEBRUARY 8: Cross Hanas #71 of the Portland Winterhawks stands on the ice during warm up against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on February 8, 2020 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

The Detroit Red Wings second year GM sounded pleased with the draft haul, “Hopefully a few of them become NHL players.” It was not hard to identify what Yzerman and his scouting department were looking for.

Fast skaters, good hockey IQ, size with good character. As I stated before, the Red Wings did not have any real misses. The one pick I question is goalie Jan Bedar. Bedar has lacked consistency yet the 6′ 4″ netminder has the tools to be a very good NHL goalie. It seems Yzerman is banking on his developmental team to get Bedar to that level.

Now comes the fun part, watching prospects grow and reach the NHL.



The Detroit Red Wings select Lucas Raymond in the first round

How’s your mock draft? Detroit Red Wings General Manager Steve Yzerman does not care, neither does Director of Amateur Scouting Kris Draper. For the second year in a row Yzerman and Draper picked the player they feel can “move the needle.” Of all the names linked and mocked to the Red Wings with the No. 4 overall pick, not one person had them taking Swedish forward Lucas Raymond.

The rebuilding Detroit Red Wings have needs up and down the roster. Sure Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, Filip Hroneck and a couple others give the Red Wings good players to build around. The key word is build. Detroit GM Steve Yzerman said it will take time.

Steve Yzerman is not afraid to throw curveballs at experts. Many had the Red Wings taking other players. Until Yzerman made the pick and surprised many. One thing, the Detroit Red Wings got a player who is elite and will add offense to a team in need of it from the second line to the fourth line.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – JUNE 22: (L-R) Steve Yzerman and Kris Draper of the Detroit Red Wings attends the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Lucas Raymond, my goodness what a player the 5′ 11″ Swedish forward is. What exactly are the Red Wings getting in Raymond? Let’s take a look. For starters Raymond is an excellent skater. Raymond has outstanding speed and fantastic acceleration.

As for Raymond’s offensive game he uses his speed very well and has very good stickhandling skills. The young forward is rarely rattled and plays with  poise beyond his years.

Lucas reads the play extremely well, He is also above average at anticipating when a teammate will be open for a scoring chance. Raymond has a good solid wrist shot and a quick release. His quick hands allow him to change the angle on his shot and fool goaltenders.

Defensively Lucas Raymond plays all three zones. His size and lack of upper body strength can at times expose some weakness. Something the Red Wings will ask him to clean up when he plays this coming season in Sweden.

This was a very good pick by Yzerman and his scouting department. Raymond is very happy to join the organization who has had it’s fair share of great Swedish hockey players over the years.

Breaking News: The Detroit Red Wings waive Justin Abdelkader for a buyout

Detroit Red Wings general manager has a history of big daring moves. He did it during his time in Tampa Bay and put an eventual Stanley Cup Champion on the ice. Yzerman’s latest big move is daring, he has waived veteran forward Justin Abdelkader for the purpose of buying out the remainder of his contract.

Before the 2016-17 NHL season the Detroit Red Wings then general manager Ken Holland sign forward Justin Abdelkader to a massive $29.75 million dollar contract ($4.25 million dollar salary cap hit.)

Since that time Abdelkader has failed to live up to the contract. After scoring 23  in 2014-15 and 19 goals  2015-16 , Abdelkader never came close to those offensive totals again.

As one of the Red Wings alternate captains, Abdelkader played 49 games last season, getting three points (all assists), with a minus-14 rating. It is a move that needed to be made.

Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman made the bold move Tuesday afternoon. Knowing full well the buyout will count against the cap for six years:  $1,805,556 in 2020-21, $2,305,556 in each of 2021-22 and 2022-23, and $1,055,556 in the following three seasons.

From a team stand point this is a bit of a blow. Many in and around both the Detroit Red Wings and the NHL say that Abdelkader is a great teammate and great in the locker room. On the ice was a different story.

CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 23: Steve Yzerman of the Tampa Bay Lightning attends the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Knowing Steve Yzerman’s history, it is safe to say that he is clearing a roster spot for a bigger move. This is a big year for the Red wings rebuild. The media knows, fan know it Yzerman surely knows it.

Just what that move will be is held by one person, the general manager. Yzerman has never made a big move and followed it up with a small move. He goes big then often goes bigger.

Perhaps something is brewing tonight during the 2020 NHL Draft. We shall see.

With the 2020 NHL Draft tonight, the Detroit Red Wings are poised to get an elite player

Cole Perfetti, Jamie Drysdale, and Jaroslav Askarov are just a few names that have been linked and mocked (drafts) to the Detroit Red Wings for a while now. Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman has not and will not tip his hand as to what position he and his scouting department are leaning towards. Yzerman like the rest of the NHL world have to see how the top three pick shake out first.

In my opinion, with the 2021 full of elite defensive players, Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman should be looking at forwards with the No. 4 overall pick in tonight’s draft.

There is elite talent within the top ten picks of the 2020 NHL Draft. A player that has caught my eye is Marco Rossi, Rossi is an electric offensive force  at center. That is a big need for the Red Wings second line.

There are two very close to elite defensive players in this draft. Jamie Drysdale and Craig Button. Again in my opinion with the offensive needs the Red Wings have Yzerman would be wise to search for blueline help in the second round where the Red Wings have three draft picks.

It would not be the end of the world if the Red Wings go defense at No.4. Either Drysdale or Button’s scouting report and projects would justify picking either player. That said, there is talent in the Red Wings system. Including last years first round draft pick Moritz Sieder.

For Steve Yzerman who will be doing his second draft as Red Wings GM, he has has nine more picks to play with and find impact players. Whoever the Red Wings select in the first round it will be a player who is close to being NHL ready.

GUELPH, ON – MAY 8: Marco Rossi #23 of the Ottawa 67’s skates against the Guelph Storm during Game Four of the OHL Championship Series Final at the Sleeman Centre on May 8, 2019 in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The Storm defeated the 67’s 5-4. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Of the forwards who do not go in the first three draft picks experts agree Marco Rossi is the closest to being NHL ready. In fact many say he could make the jump in the upcoming 2020-21 NHL season.

It will all unfold tonight at 7:00 pm.

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman speaks

He does not do it often, yet when he does fans and media tend to stop and listen. Steve Yzerman general manager of the Detroit Red Wings seldom offers glimpses into how he runs his team. He prefers to just do it. This past week Yzerman sat down for a ZOOM  call and actually laid out some of his vision for the future of the Red Wings as well as how he and his staff will approach the 2020 NHL draft.

This is one of the busiest times for NHL GM’s. The 2020 draft is next Tuesday with free agency to follow October 9. Through it all Steve Yzerman is not going to alter how he approaches building the Red Wings back into a playoff contender.

“Our plan right now is to draft and try accumulate, or add, additional picks along the way. Draft, be patient, and hopefully we draft well,” Yzerman said. The Detroit Red Wings GM is looking to build a solid nucleus around some of the young Red Wings talent already in Detroit.

DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 17: Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings poses for his official headshot for the 2019-2020 season at Little Caesars Arena on September 17, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Red Wings in the middle of a rebuild, they are not targeting specific position groups in the draft. At this point, they simply want to add the best prospects available.

The Red Wings were the worst team in the NHL last season and the organizations reward is the fourth overall first round draft pick, due to a faulty NHL lottery system that needs overhauled.

Even picking fourth, there is a fairly deep pool of talented prospects available in top half of the first round, the Red Wings will likely get a player who eventually will help them at No. 4 overall. Be it a year or five years.

Cole Perfetti, Marco Rossi and Lucas Raymond, and defensemen Jamie Drysdale and Jake Sanderson all have been linked to the Detroit hockey team. This is how Yzerman will draft and how he runs his team during a rebuild. Collect as many draft picks as you can. Detroit has three second round draft picks this year.

Collect talent and hope you strike gold on some of them. Steve Yzerman has a history of striking gold with later draft picks.

The Detroit Red Wings trade for veteran Marc Staal and a second round draft pick

In his quest to both fill roster needs while keeping an eye on the future, Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman did both yesterday. Yzerman traded for Marc Staal of the New York Rangers and a second round draft pick  in 2021 NHL draft in exchange for future considerations.

Marc Staal is clearly a player in decline at 33 years old. Last season for the Rangers Staal had appeared in 52 games with the Rangers last season, recording two goals and nine assists. He had one goal in three playoff games.

Staal a 13 year NHL veteran has one year left on his contract with a $5.7 million cap hit. Staal is a player who can be plugged into the fourth line and play limited minutes.

Steve Yzerman has been bent on adding draft picks since becoming Detroit’s general manager. Part of the rebuilding process, is to add draft picks, prospects, young players and future assets to really help us down the line.

In the 2020 and 2021 NHL draft’s Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings organization as of this moment have six second round draft pick in each draft. That will certainly help add future assets.

The Detroit Red Wings were an NHL worst dead last in defense last season. Yzerman said that defensemen Jonathan Ericsson and Trevor Daley would not be resigned.

By adding Staal, he can play the left side along with Patrik Nemeth and Danny DeKeyser. So it was a good trade in the aspect of helping the roster this season. With only one year left on his contract, Yzerman could feel another Red Wing prospect is close to being NHL ready. So a short contract does no derail a player from finishing his development and being in the roster mix at 2021 training camp.

Armed with draft picks, Steve Yzerman is giving his scouting department the opportunity to add important pieces to the Red Wings organization. Just as he said he would.

An updated look at the state of the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings, Pistons and Lions rebuild’s

All four Detroit Michigan sports teams are under construction. Rebuilds across the board. It has not been a fun time for the sports enthusiasts around the state of Michigan and the rest of the country. Yet here we are, it is time to update the four major sports teams rebuild efforts to date.

Let’s take a look at the worst and possibly longest rebuild in sports, or close to it. The Detroit Lions. Bob Quinn was brought in from the New England Patriots and there was hype when he arrived in Motown. The hype is gone, fans have soured and the Lions are a total mess. Losers of 11 games in a row with no end in sight. The Lions should fire Quinn and all associated with him and start from scratch.

The Detroit Pistons, In better shape than the Lions (who is not?) The Pistons have young talent to build around. Bruce Brown, Sekou Doumbouya, Luke Kennard, Christian Wood give the Pistons some nice players to build around. The Detroit Pistons are armed with some cap space for the first time in a long time so that will help speed the process up a bit.

The Detroit Tigers, the Tigers also have some nice young talent to build around. Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Isaac Paredes, Spencer Torkelson, Riley Greene are a few of the names Tiger fans should know or begin to learn. The Tigers still have work to do on the rebuild, however they are in good shape moving forward.

The Detroit Red Wings, general manager Steve Yzerman is still building his team. Like the Tigers the Red Wings have some nice prospects to build around. With the No. 4 pick in the first round Yzerman is poised to bring in another high-end prospect, not to mention Yzerman also has cap space. Cap space is a good thing it is even better when a GM with a proven history of spending wisely is in charge.

So there it is in a nutshell. The Lions are a mess as usual, the Pistons, Tigers and Red Wings are advancing rather nicely in the rebuilding of the respected organization.

I am sticking with my initial thought that the Detroit Red Wings finish their rebuild first.


The Detroit Red Wings must show improvement 2020-21

The Detroit Red Wings rebuild has gone on for about three full years now. With current Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman overseeing the past two years. The 2020-21 NHL season is critical to the rebuild. Since Yzerman arrived in Motown the organization has been trending upward.

This season in order for a light to be seen at the end of the long rebuild tunnel, The Detroit Red Wings need prospects to play, in Detroit, at Little Caesars Arena to be exact.  Prospects such as  Mathis Bromé, Gustav Lindström, , Evgeny Svechnikov Joseph Veleno, and Filip Zadina an others need NHL playing time.

By perhaps adding a goalie in free agency and another player the Red Wings will not become a contender during the 2020-21 season. They organization can however takes steps towards becoming a contender.

Yzerman, understands todays NHL is a young players league now. The Red Wings have long believed in sending prospects development. No matter a players draft position they are sent to the minors to fine tune their skills.

That said the Red Wings do have players who need to take the next step which is NHL time. It is something the Columbus Blue Jackets have done with most of their top prospects.

The future of the Red Wings will be centered around the teams top line of Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin, and Anthony Mantha. The Red Wings now need to fill in other lines with players who will be playing on the other three lines.

This is where the Detroit Red Wings rebuild is. It is time to the next step or phase (depending how you like to say it.) The team is preparing to add another prospect during this years NHL draft.

This season will be a measure marker for the Detroit organization.

Why the Tampa Bay Lightning playing for the Stanley Cup is good news for the Detroit Red Wings

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – JUNE 21: General Manager Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings looks on from the draft table during the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Since the 2016-17 NHL season no team has accumulated more wins than the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning have accumulated one President’s Trophy, two 100-plus point seasons and plenty of regular season records as well. For all the winning the Lightning have done one thing has eluded them, a Stanley Cup championship.

It is fair to say the Tampa Bay Lightning are due. Being a consistent NHL regular season winner has paved the way for the organization to face the Dallas Stars in this year Cup Finals.

So just how does the Lightning playing for the Stanley Cup bode well for the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings? Let’s start with the obvious. The same man who built the juggernaut Tampa Bay hockey team is the same man tasked with rebuilding the Red Wings. Steve Yzerman.

When Yzerman took over as Lightning general manager he took over a bad hockey team. Through shrewd traded and savvy  free agent signings, the Lightning became a regular season giant and a regular in the NHL playoffs.

Things are a bit different in Detroit. Yzerman is building a young core around Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi, Anthony Mantha and Filip Hroneck. Yet, Yzerman has made some rather nice trades for the Red Wings, such as trading for Robby Fabbri from the St. Louis Blues.

Seeing the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 20129-20 NHL Stanley Cup finals, should be a welcomed sight for the Red Wings organization and the Red Wings fans base. Yzerman stated over and over during his time as Red Wings general manger, it takes time to build a winning. Yet, that is what he does.

There are different expectations in Detroit. Yzerman himself acknowledged this by saying he understands the Detroit Red Wings play for championships. He is tasked with getting the organization back to that level of play. There is next to no doubt Yzerman will deliver.