Friday, June 25, 2004

Red Wings Draft Preview

Here's the list of picks the Wings have this year: 1st Round: none (Since they traded away their pick in the Robert Lang deal, the Caps have the option of taking this year's 29th pick or waiting until next year and taking the Wings' 2nd round pick. It's not likely that Washington will do that so I don't expect the Wings to get a first rounder this year. 2nd Round: none 3rd Round: #97 4th Round: #128 5th Round: #151 (for losing Luc Robitaille to Group III free agency), #162 6th Round: #192 7th Round: #226 8th Round: #257 9th Round: #290 ] Click here for the complete draft order. Rounds 1-3 are tomorrow starting at 12:00 ET and Rounds 4-9 are on Sunday, starting at 9:00 ET. The Wings will be thinking long term as usual this year since they won't find anyone in the draft who will be NHL ready immediately and they don't have any huge needs at the moment anyway. They will need to find guys who will play for them down the road and do their usual good job of finding hidden gems, though that will be harder this year than most because this draft is considered weak by just about everybody. They haven't had a first round draft pick in four years and it's worked out alright for them so far but they'll need to start drafting higher in the coming years by not trading away their picks all the time for immediate results. Their scouts have done a great job of picking up surprising talent but the Wings haven't been able to get their hands on much size recently and that's really becoming an apparent weakness. Going after small, European forwards is all well and good when they end up having the skills to compete in the NHL but they need to find some big guys to fill their forward spots as well. I have faith in the Wings' front office to make good picks with what they already have since they've done so in the past. If they can pull off a trade to move up in the draft, great. But they don't have a whole lot of leverage to do something like that and I don't expect them to.


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