The moment the New York Rangers won the number one pick in this year’s draft, Wings’ fans were jolted from their peaceful Lafrenière-dream. It was like a dream you have the night before Christmas: eagerly looking forward to waking up, you constantly check the clock, anticipating Santa gifting you the best player in the draft. A single jet-stream shooting a lottery ball up in the air ended that dream. But that dream doesn’t have to end. This draft is deep – there’s no real consensus on draft order and the Wings have several holes to fill.
Position- Center / Left
Team – Sudbury Wolves- OHL
Age – 18
Height – 6’4”
Weight – 214 lbs
Nation – Canada
Shoots – Left
Olive – the forgotten one. The Reindeer team is full of notable names but Olive is rarely mentioned. I say this tongue-in-cheek because the origin of Olive is from the misheard lyric of “Olive the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names.” Whether it is “all of” or “Olive”, nobody is talking about Olive just like not enough people are talking about Quinton Byfield. The likely number two pick is being outshined by Alexis Lafrenière, which will hopefully let him drop to number four. Wings’ fans would roll out the red carpet for a 6’4”, 215-pound centerman jumping over the boards as Dylan Larkin skates off the ice. While the likelihood that he is available is minimal, there is not a Hall-Seguin, Mcdavid-Matthews narrative to this draft. It’s Lafrenière and everyone else. Last season, Byfield averaged 1.82 points-per-game and was the driving force for the top-seeded Sudbury Wolves. The Wings need a center that can dominate for 200 feet and Byfield’s scoring prowess, excellent skating skills, large frame and pride on the defensive end are all attributes required to be a complete two-way center on an NHL roster.
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button –
“The Evgeni Malkin clone has the great combination of skill, size & power and continues to push his game to higher levels. He has so much high end potential.”
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) August 7, 2019
When hockey fans wake up on October 6th the only ones that will know who their team is going to draft are Rangers fans. Wings were robbed of that certainty! – but, for Yzerman, there’s one thing that’s for certain – if Quinton Byfield is available when Detroit is called to the virtual-podium, they have to draft him – immediately. Byfield may need a couple of years to develop but he has the physical attributes to make the jump to the NHL and the intelligence to match. Flash-forward two or three years down the road and Byfield could be slotted behind Dylan Larkin for 5-on-5s and together power plays. Byfield would be an instant talent injection to the Wings bottom six and could shave years off the rebuild. Wings’ fans are looking to reestablish their playoff streak and drafting a dominant 200-foot center would be a leap in the right direction.