Saturday, June 24, 2006

Red Wings Draft Pick Profiles

The Wings took 18-year-old Cory Emmerton 41st overall as their first pick of the draft. Emmerton scored 90 points (26G, 64A) in 66 games for the Kingston Frontenacs this past season, had an assist in the OHL All-Star Game and scored two goals in six games in the postseason. Hockey's Future has this to say about him:
A talented playmaker with offensive flair and a nose for the net, Emmerton is the type of forward that makes those around him better. He has a knack for finding the open man, or hitting a teammate in full-stride for an offensive chance.

He has elite playmaking and passing skills and is solid on his skates. He could benefit from some extra attention on the defensive side of the game, but he projects to challenge for the OHL scoring title should he remain in the league next season, and could be a solid point-producer for years to come no matter what level he plays at.

He's 5'11", 177 pounds, shoots left, and plays center. A playmaker, evidentally, not a goal-scorer, and yet another center in the system. The Wings' second pick was Shawn Matthias, another 18-year-old center. Matthias played 67 games for the Belleville Bulls, notching just 13 goals and 21 assists over that span. He scored three goals in the first round of the OHL playoffs in six games. Hockey's Future has this to say about him:

He can skate and handle the puck, but he still needs to work on his two-way play. Never one to shy away from hard work, Matthias is considered to have NHL potential.
At 6'3", 211 lbs., Matthias definitely has some size so he brings something the Wings could use if he really is NHL material. For their third pick, the Wings took the 19-year-old Swede Dick Axelsson 62nd overall. Axelsson split his time between the Huddinge J20 team and the Huddinge main roster, scoring 19 goals and 34 points in 28 games with the former and 17 goals and 19 points in 23 games with the latter. Elite Prospects has this to say about him (translated from Swedish):

Axelsson has great size and is an aggressive and physical player. He has good timing in his hits. His skating, the intensity he plays with and his forechecking is quite good. Axelsson's main asset is his hockey sense and he is good at finding passing openings. At the same time he is a good scorer. Technical skills and hands are good. There is room for improvement when it comes to his defensive game and his acceleration.
Axelsson, at 6'2", 176 lbs, has some good size as well. He's listed as a forward so maybe he's not a center. That's all I have on these guys for now but I'll post more as I see it. Three picks, three forwards. So much for bolstering the defensive depth of the system.

Update (11:11 PM): Christy has more here.


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