As many of you who read this blog know by this time, I can not stand mock drafts. I have never been shy about that fact. That said the NHL Draft lottery has found the Detroit Red Wings slotted at #8 overall. Heading into his fourth season as Red Wings GM, Steve Yzerman has yet to draft first overall. That is okay, as he has built the Red Wings pipeline up and it is currently ranked #2. That is why picking #8 is not a big deal. So who could the Red Wings be looking at? Let’s take a closer look.
The 2022 NHL Draft does not have a ton of elite defensive talent to choose from. If a team needs a winger or center, this is a very good draft. After Dylan Larkin who is the teams top line center and Joe Veleno who took positive steps in his development and looks to be a third line center, the Red Wings have a need at that position.
Three players come to mind who I really believe can help Detroit sooner than later. The first is Danila Yurov, right wing (RW) Russia, A smooth skater with speed. Yurov has no trouble going end-to-end and is blessed with a great shot. He could compete for a roster spot in training camp if selected by Detroit.
Next is a player that would have to slide a bit for the Red Wings to nab and it is center, Matt Savoie. This is a highly skilled center and could very well find himself in Detroit and wind up on the second line. With outstanding stickhandling and puck control, excellent vision, great passer and elite goal scorer, Savoie would be my first choice, but I am not Steve Yzerman nor is there any way to tell if he would be there at #8.
My third choice for the Red Wings is a player that played through a shoulder injury and saw his production drop, but is still a great young player. Joakim Kemell, RW, his skating needs cleaned up that said, Kemell is a pure sniper, his one-timer is absolutely lethal and the best in the draft. Kemell is also a very skilled playmaker. If you need a player Kemell sort of resembles I’d say Columbus Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine is close.
Steve Yzerman is his own man. He has rebuilt the Red Wings future with excellent scouting and great draft picks. I believe this is the year he drafts for need and not best player at the draft slot. The Detroit Red Wings need more high end scoring and this is a draft that can go a long way in helping that deficit.
Drop a comment and let me have you choice for the Red Wings first round draft pick.
By trading former Detroit Lions starting quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for two first round draft picks (2022 and 2023) and a third round draft pick (2021) along with Rams starting quarterback Jared Goff it has garnered the Lions draft capital. Should the organization draft a quarterback in 2021? That is the question we will dive into.
Heading into the 2021-22 NFL season there is little doubt Jared Goff will be the Detroit Lions starting quarterback. In fact Goff could be the starter for two seasons. Which is fine. At 26 years old Jared Goff has already played in a Super Bowl and been selected to two Pro-Bowls. At the very least Goff is a serviceable quarterback.
The Detroit Lions currently hold the #7 pick in the first round of this years draft. It seems inevitable that up to three quarterbacks will be selected before the Lions have their turn.
Another fact is that the Lions simply do not have many draft picks this year due in part to poor choices former general manager Bob Quinn made. Current Lions GM, Brad Holmes would be ill advised to take a quarterback from rounds 3 and later due to the fact that unless your name is Tom Brady the likelihood a quarterback taken this late would even see the playing field is next to zero.
The Lions could sign a cheap free agent to fill the role of backup quarterback. That said because drafting a quarterback is like throwing a darts at a dartboard the risk this year seems far to great.
The Detroit Lions are in for a total (much needed) rebuild that is going to take some time. The roster is filled with holes that need to be filled and the team as a whole lacks speed.
This years draft focus should be in my opinion, on areas that can impact the roster this coming season. Be it wide receiver, offensive line, linebacker, defensive backs or edge rusher.
So in should the Detroit Lions draft a quarterback in 2021? My answer is no.
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.
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.
Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Red Wings in the tail end of a rebuild will pick sixth overall in the first round of the 2019 NHL draft. Red Wings fans freaked out saying the team should have tanked for better draft position. I respectfully disagree.
Detroit Red Wings fans are a fickle group. They want their team to have the top pick every year. This season like last the Red Wings will pick sixth. It is a good position for the team to be in. Fans are angry.
The Detroit Red Wings will have their pick of top players. Anyone from Russian winger Vasili Podkolzin, to Swedish defensemen Victor Soderstrom. Great prospects will come Detroit’s way. It is a very good draft class.
Detroit Red Wings fans, are a group I would love to sit down with and explain one thing to. While having the first pick in the draft is nice, It pales in comparison to having the young core player (Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzie, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, Filip Hronek, Dennis Cholowski and Filip Zadina) take HUGE steps forward this season.
The young Red Wings got hot at the end of the season and had a winning streak that should carry over into next season. Yet, for some reason that is not enough for Red Wings Nation. They wanted the grand prize in the 2019 draft Jack Hughes. I wanted the young players to show it was time to pull out of the rebuild and time to win. They did.
The kicker in all of this is the Detroit Red Wings have over $17 million coming off the salary cap. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, Can upgrade his team at will. That is a ton of money to have to offer free agents. Holland himself said just last week the team plans to spend this summer.
All of this just proves how good of shape the Red Wings are in. All eyes are now focused on the draft.
Embed from Getty Images While mad dash for premium free agents is over, the focus for all teams is the NFL draft. The Detroit Lions filling some holes still have work to do. Improvements are still needed.
The Lions still have “a couple target points” on their roster to fill, though coach Matt Patricia said last week. “I would say in general from a need standpoint, we’re always just going to try to keep finding good players,” Patricia continued.
Detroit general manager Bob Quin has been known to draft for need. No need to believe he will switch his approach now. If it is not broke do not fix it. That said areas the Detroit Lions need upgraded are:
Cornerback: The Lions still feel light at the cornerback position, It’s been said plenty of times. The need at true CB2 in this years draft. Options are slim unless they take one in the first round.
Tight End: The Lions signed two tight ends in free agency last month, Jesse James and Logan Thomas, but a young game breaker is needed. This is the draft to find that player. The Lions need more veteran help here, but I certainly expect them to add another weapon in the draft.
Wide Receiver: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola are starters. Then what? Not good solid depth. Detroit must find a young player they can groom for years to come. if they do not address the position at some point in the draft, they’ll end up paying for it next year.
While the team will look for offensive linemen as well as defensive linemen, I have put a spotlight on the positions I feel are more paramount to be upgraded at this time. The Lions do not need another journeyman veteran. They need ti invest.
Embed from Getty Images Needing a dependable second baseman. The Detroit Tigers, got a gift when the son of MLB legend Roger Clemens fell to them in the third round. He projects as a very good middle infielder.
Kody Clemens, from the Texas Longhorns, began his college playing days at third base. Late in the 2016 season he under went Tommy John surgery. Texas moved him to second base. As they say the rest is history.
Due to a loss in arm strength after surgery Clemens, took off at second base. More comfortable Kody’s offense took off. He was named Big12 player of the year.
He is lacks range but that should not hurt him. He projects as an everyday second baseman. He plays with great energy. He can pull the ball or go the other way.
For a second baseman he has pop. He projects as a 20 homerun player. Al Avila, really nailed this draft for the Detroit Tigers. He went for game changing players. He found them.
This has been the best Tigers draft in years. The first five players taken by the team all project as future all-stars. Suddenly, the Detroit rebuild is not all that bad. There is a bright light at the end of the tunnel.