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Photo Credit: @DetroitRedWings

Red Wings Draft Day 2 Recap: Rich In Defensemen

The 2017 NHL Entry Draft got underway last night and there were quite a few surprises: Nico Hischier was drafted first overall by the New Jersey Devils, Brayden Schenn is apparently worth two first round picks and Jori Lehtera (!!!), the Pittsburgh Penguins traded their 1st round pick (31st overall) for Ryan Reaves (!!!), and Gabe Vilardi, projected to go top-5, fell to eleventh overall. The Red Wings had a chance to land him at nine, but opted to go with Michael Rasmussen with their first top-10 pick since 1991. Though not the pick most of us wanted, Rasmussen should develop into a big, strong centreman who will be hard to play against in the corners and in front of the net.

Today, Day 2 got underway at 10:00 A.M. EST for rounds two to seven. The Red Wings went into the day with 10 picks: one in the second round, four in the third round, one in the fourth round, one in the fifth round, two in the sixth round, and one in the seventh round. They were tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for having the most draft picks of the day. Here’s how it all went down.

ROUND 2

Gustav Lindstrom, D – 38th overall

So this one was… unexpected. Lindstrom was on nobody’s radar this early in the draft. He was projected to go between 85 and 159, so Detroit must have really liked him to pick him so early. He’s a right-handed defenseman out of Sweden with strong skating and puck moving skills. There’s some more info on him here. We don’t know much about Lindstrom (other than his name is eerily similar to a certain Red Wing legend), but it feels like the kind of pick could have been made in the third round.

ROUND 3

Kasper Kotkansalo, D – 71st overall

Another defenseman, this time out of Finland. Kotkansalo is a shutdown defenseman who is a great passer. He wasn’t projected to go so high, so this is another off-the-board pick for Detroit, but it’s clear they are using their mid-draft picks to stock up on defensemen.

Lane Zablocki, C – 79th overall

With their 79th overall pick, Detroit took centreman Lane Zablocki. Zablocki likes to plant his 6’0″ frame in front of the net and refuses to let anyone push him around. He’s patient with the puck and has a great release on his shot. He played in the WHL this year and put up 54 points in 64 games for the Regina Pats and the Red Deer Rebels (he was traded mid-season). We have more information on Lane Zablocki, including a highlight reel, in our draft prospect profile here.

Zach Gallant, C – 83rd overall

Gallant just finished his second OHL season with the Peterbrough Petes with great improvement. He put up 47 points in 60 games. His speed, shot, and offensive prowess are well developed, but he could work on his defensive game a little more. There’s some more info on Gallant courtesy of Steven Ellis here:

Keith Petruzzelli, G – 88th overall

This was a good pick. Petruzzelli was one of the best goaltending prospects available at the draft and it’s surprising he even fell to 88. He’s a 6’6″ goalie who put up a .918 SV% for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL. For more detailed information on him, a highlight reel, and why we think he’d be a good fit for the Red Wings, check out our Wings Nation First Round Target article on him here.

ROUND 4

Malte Setkov, D – 100th overall

Another D-man comes off the board and into the Red Wings prospect pool. Setkov is of Danish decent and plays a hard defensive game. He’s described as a stay-at-home defenseman who has a huge offensive upside. Steve Kournianos has the scoop on him:

ROUND 5

Cole Fraser, D – 131st overall

The Wings continued filling their defensive pipeline with the selection of this big right-handed D-man out of the OHL. Fraser was ranked at number 197 by NHL Central Scouting. He had an improved Sophomore season in Peterborough, putting up 19 points in 61 games. He’s got a quick release on his very accurate shot and isn’t afraid to throw his weight around. He’s got a lot of developing to do, but he’s not a bad snag for Detroit in the 5th round.

ROUND 6

Jack Adams, RW – 162nd overall

No, not that Jack Adams, though it would be great if this kid could lead us to as many Stanley Cups as that Jack Adams could! This Jack Adams is only 20-years-old and put up 60 points in 56 games for the Fargo Force of the USHL. This league has done a great job developing players lately, so hopefully Adams continues to trend in the right direction. He will be playing for Union College in the NCAA next season. There’s not too much out there on Adams, but @RedWingsProspects managed to dig this up:

Reilly Webb, D – 164th overall

A fifth defenseman for the Red Wings today! They are really stocking up and not one of them has been under 6′ tall. Webb is a seventeen year old from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL. He had a tough rookie season, only playing in 8 games before dislocating his left shoulder at practice. He returned to the team in December, but they sent him down to their farm team in Ancaster. Webb is a big, stay-at-home defenseman who loves to compete. Obviously, at 17-years-old, he’s got a lot of developing to do, but any right-handed defender looks good for us right now!

ROUND 7

Brady Gilmour, C – 193rd overall

No, it’s not Doug’s son. Brady is  the smallest pick of Detroit’s draft, standing at 5’10”, but he’s got a great hockey IQ and is a leader in the room. Last year, in his sophomore season for the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL, he was named assistant captain and put up 47 points in 65 games. He was ranked #226 by FutureConsiderations.ca. Is he a future Zetterberg or Datsyuk? Probably not, but nobody has had anything negative to say about the 17-year-old yet. He’s got much more development ahead of him, but his attitude and leadership seem to fit the Red Wings mold.


There are a couple takeaways from the Red Wings selections today:

  1. They really bulked up. Only one of their picks was under 6-foot. When Holland said they wanted to be a tough team to play against, he wasn’t kidding. When/if these players make the team, they are going to be big, mean, and strong.
  2. They filled out their defense pipeline. 50% of their picks were defensemen. Most of these were big shutdown defensemen, though there are a few puck movers with exceptional skating. They also picked up a big goaltender who will definitely be an NHL starter one day.
  3. They drafted four centremen, proving they recognize the team’s biggest needs going forward and committed to addressing the lack of depth there.
  4. They used up all of their picks. Along with the Philadelphia Flyers, the Wings had the most picks in the draft. There was some speculation that they’d maybe use one of their four third round picks in a trade package, but Holland held on to all of them and used them to pick prospects. As Sean Tierney pointed out in his piece for The Athletic last week, one in four players from the draft play in over 100 NHL games. Therefore, taking as many players as possible maximizes your chances of picking future NHLers.

Ultimately, these picks don’t make any immediate changes to the Red Wings roster. With the exception of Rasmussen, all of these players are still a few years away from playing in the Winged Wheel. Still, it’s hard not to feel hope for the future when you see the kind of size and skill drafted today. At least one of those defensemen will pan out and Keith Petruzzelli has great potential. Draft Day is always a day of hope – and there was plenty of it going around in Wings Nation today.