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From Rasmussen to Gilmour: Reviewing the Detroit Red Wings 2017 Draft

 06/25/2017 - 02:38

The Detroit Red Wings entered the weekend with their highest draft pick in 27 years - when they picked Keith Primeau third overall.

Coincidentally, the Wings used their 9th pick to draft a Primeau-esque center - 6'6, 215-pound Surrey, BC, native Michael Rasmussen. It wasn't only quality. The Wings had 11 picks in the draft. One must go back to 2000 to find a draft with so many Red Wings picks. And in 2000, the year Detroit drafted Niklas Kronwall and Tomas Kopecky, there were nine rounds. Today, there are seven.

Traditionally, the Red Wings GM Ken Holland has said he likes to get two NHLers out of a draft. But given the value of a top 10 pick, the 11 picks owned by Detroit, and the Red Wings' glaring needs at center and defense, the Wings need more than a couple players. They need impact players.

Despite the comments in the Detroit dailies about Rasmussen's potential, there were a lot of red flags around him. So many bloggers and forum hockey nerds began the 2017 draft on a sour note.

Here's the draft

1    #9    Detroit Red Wings     Michael Rasmussen (C)
Ranked 10th by McKeen's
50 games, 32-23-55 -13 for Tri-City Americans (WHL)
AGE    18    NATION    Canada
HEIGHT    195 cm / 6'5"    WEIGHT    100 kg / 220 lbs

Upside: Huge two-way center with decent top-end speed, solid work ethic and the hands to score at the net.
Downside: Not a good passer. Can't produce at 5-on-5.

Verdict: Rasmussen will be an NHLer because he's huge, has hands and he can skate. But will he be a top six center? Is he the guy who sets up Mantha or Athanasiou or Svechnikov? Probably not. With Vilardi and Necas and others available, this was not a good pick. According to many, it was about the worst pick they could have realistically made. D



2    #38    Detroit Red Wings     Gustav Lindström (D)   
Ranked 103rd by McKeen's
48 games 2-7-9 -11 for Almtuna IS, (SWE Allsvenskan)
AGE    18    NATION    Sweden
HEIGHT    187 cm / 6'2"    WEIGHT    85 kg / 187 lbs

Upside:    Smart defensemen with a good frame. Good passer. Great athlete. Chose hockey late, so he's a late bloomer.
Downside:   Not a great skater. Not physical. Was picked much higher than he was ranked

Verdict:: Forget the silly Lidstrom jokes (this guy is the nephew of former Shark Margus Ragnarsson). If you read what McKeens and Draftin' Europe say, you start feeling better about this pick. Still can't help but wonder if this guy might have been available in Round 3, and wonder if the Wings might have used a 3rd to move up in Round 2 to snag Timmons or Hogue. B

3    #71    Detroit Red Wings     Kasper Kotkansalo (D)   
Ranked 125th by McKeen's
47 games 1-11-12 +12 43 PIM
AGE    18    NATION    Finland POSITION    D    SHOOTS    L
HEIGHT    188 cm / 6'2"    WEIGHT    86 kg / 190 lbs

Upside: Solid, all-around defender with a frame that should hold some weight. Everything is slightly above average, except his smarts, which are even more above average. Not a big hitter, but willing to play physical.
Downside:  Doesn't really stand out in any area.

Verdict: Defense went fast in the draft. There's not much boom or bust in Kotkansalo. He's a solid player. He'll be at Boston University of 3-4 years and then maybe he'll be ready to go pro. He probably went a little high - but defense was going high. C

3    #79    Detroit Red Wings     Lane Zablocki (C)  
Ranked 90th by McKeen's
64 Games, 28-26-54 Regina/Red Deer (WHL)
AGE    18    NATION    Canada
HEIGHT    183 cm / 6'0"    WEIGHT    84 kg / 185 lbs

Upside:  He's a gritty, right-handed shooting center who likes to play the front of the net. He has decent speed
Downside:  Doesn't have a ton of skill or speed. Is known to ge undisciplined.

Verdict:  Is it weird to anyone else the Wings are drafting net-front centers? At best, I think you're looking at a gritty third line winger.

3    #83    Detroit Red Wings     Zachary Gallant (C)    
Ranked 89th by McKeen's
60 games 21-26-47 Peterborough (OHL)
AGE    18    NATION    Canada
HEIGHT    188 cm / 6'2"    WEIGHT    85 kg / 187 lbs

Upside:   He's a left-handed, two-way center lauded for his defense and intelligence. He's a decent skater with size and aggression and he can hit an open man with passes.
Downside:  Some question his effort. He has an awkward skating stride.

Verdict: The Wings are weak at center. Gallant seems like he might be a decent third or fourth liner if he can get his game together. But I wonder if there were any boom-bust type picks with home run potential.

3    #88    Detroit Red Wings     Keith Petruzzelli (G)    
Ranked 37 by McKeen's
35 games 22-10-1 .918 2.30 Muskegon (USHL)
AGE    18    NATION    USA
HEIGHT    197 cm / 6'6"    WEIGHT    86 kg / 190 lbs

Upside:   He's huge at 6'6. He's unflappable and smart.
Downside:  He's a weak puck handler.

Verdict: This is probably the best pick of the draft for the Red Wings. He could be the best goalie in the draft. He'll play college hockey at Qunnipiac.



4    #100    Detroit Red Wings     Malte Setkov (D)  
38 games 2-10-12 18 PIM +7 Malmo J20 (SWE SuperElit)
AGE    18    NATION    Denmark
HEIGHT    198 cm / 6'6"    WEIGHT    87 kg / 192 lbs

Upside:   He's huge and he skates well for a big guy. He's said to be smart, too.
Downside:  It's a crapshoot here. Is he Jonathan Ericsson or Rasmus Bodin?

Verdict: We haven't seen a lot of off-the-board home runs from Hakan Andersson in recent years, but with 11 picks, isn't it nice to see Detroit swing for the fences?



5    #131    Detroit Red Wings     Cole Fraser (D)  
61 games 6-13-19 Peterborough (OHL)
AGE    18    NATION    Canada
HEIGHT    188 cm / 6'2"    WEIGHT    87 kg / 192 lbs

Upside:   He's a defenseman with size and a right-handed shot. He can hit and fight..
Downside:  Very little talk about his skill out there.

Verdict      We're in round 5.

6    #162    Detroit Red Wings     Jack Adams (RW)    
56 games 37-23-60 Fargo (USHL)
HEIGHT 195 cm / 6'5" WEIGHT 88 kg / 194 lbs

Upside:   Adams led the USH with 37 goals. He's huge, at 6'5. He worked hard to improve his skating this year.
Downside:  He's 20 years old and playing against juniors.

Verdict: The Red Wings need home run picks, and this looks like a swing for the fences. He'll play hockey at Union College for 3-4 years unless he blows up as a freshman and the Wings decide the offer early.


6    #164    Detroit Red Wings     Reilly Webb (D)    
12 games 0-1-1 +3 5 PIM Hamilton (OHL)
AGE    18    NATION    Canada
HEIGHT    190 cm / 6'3"    WEIGHT    90 kg / 198 lbs



Upside:  The upside you see above was posted two years when he was drafted by the OHL's Hamilton Bulldogs.
Downside:  He's been injured for two years. So nobody knows if he's good, and even if he is, he seems injury prone.

Verdict: Maybe this guy is a home run. But seriously, there were were better options here.

7    #193    Detroit Red Wings     Brady Gilmour (C)
65 games 26-21-47 -8 4 PIM
AGE    18    NATION    Canada
HEIGHT    178 cm / 5'10"    WEIGHT    77 kg / 170 lbs



Upside:   Has a good IQ and good hands.
Downside:  Lacks size and speed.



Verdict: The NHL is tough for forwards who lack size and speed. Even the best of them (Jiri Hudler) struggle to win a coach's confidence. But in the seventh round, this is what you get.


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Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is the operator of RedWingsNow. He is editor, publisher and founder of The Saline Post. He is also founder of Michigan Ball Hockey.

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