We are a little over a month away from the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, and Wings fans need to have their finger on the pulse. Why? Well, one of these studs could be the next Hall of Famer for the Red & White. Detroit will be picking sixth overall in the first round, and as a result of the Anthony Mantha trade, they also hold the 27th overall pick. The Wings are obviously in a rebuild, but the fact they need talent on both ends of the ice means that regardless of position, Yzerman will be selecting the most talented player available. That’s why it felt like the perfect time to break down the top-10 rated prospects, because other than Owen Power going first overall, there’s no consensus on who the Wings will select when July 23rd rolls around. So without further ado, let’s get to know some of the potential picks.
#10 – Xavier Bourgault – Center – Shawinigan (QMJHL)
D.O.B – October 22, 2002
Nationality – Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2021
Weight –172 lbs
Position – Center/Right Wing
Handedness – Right
After being selected 33rd overall in the second round of the 2018 QMJHL Draft, the Québec native applied his trade with the Shawinigan Cataractes for three seasons. While he only tallied 20 points in his rookie season, the dynamic center came back and racked up 71 points, including 33 goals in his sophomore season. While the final season was cut short, Bourgault still managed an impressive 20 goals and 20 assists in only 29 regular-season games.
The former Lévis Chevaliers star played down the middle for the majority of his bantam and midget career. But for Shawinigan, he spent a significant amount of time on the right-side with Mavrik Bourque and Olivier Nadeau. This versatility would be a welcomed addition to a Wings lineup that lacks any real mainstays. There are spots up for grabs, and I’m sure Blashill wouldn’t mind having some flexibility in where he can slot the prospect. The scouting reports on Bourgault suggest that although he may not be the best skater, his shot is a force to be reckoned with. Armed with a vicious one-timer and the ability to quickly elevate the puck from the slot could help a Detroit power-play that ranked second-worst in the league last season.
Bourgault stands 6’0”, 270 lbs, and enters the draft as one of the older players available. While it’s a small metric, this size and maturity could help make his jump to the NHL a little easier than the younger picks. Whether it be in the defensive, neutral or offensive zone, the crafty forward has an uncanny ability to find space. This allows him to facilitate the breakout and expedite the counterattack. But the kid from L’Islet isn’t about to rest on his laurels. He’s already said that he needs to get in the gym to get stronger so he isn’t bullied in the tough areas, and knows that his 200-foot game needs improvement if he intends to be an NHL mainstay. Regardless of his shortcomings, the upside of this kid is through the roof and he would be a great addition to the Wings roster if Yzerman elects to select him sixth overall.
Tune in tomorrow and get to know another potential future Wings Hall of Famer!