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Paul Kukla Kukla's Korner

Published on Monday, July 26, 2021

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Give The Wings An “A”

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The highlights from the Detroit Red Wings’ 2021 draft: Having a kid from Detroit tee up the first pick, making the best of the first pick after the top-rated centers were off the board and, finally, adding a potential franchise goaltender to the farm system.

Whether any of the eight prospects the Wings selected over the weekend will have an impact on the rebuild won’t be known for years.  However, in the immediate aftermath of the draft, general manager Steve Yzerman and his hockey operations staff deserve an A for how they used the picks....

At one point, Yzerman had 12 picks in the draft. It’s an obvious advantage, like buying tickets for the lottery. The Wings have an incredible history of finding gems in later rounds: Nicklas Lidstrom (third, 1989), Sergei Fedorov (fourth, 1989), Vladimir Konstantinov (11th, 1989), Pavel Datsyuk (sixth, 1998), Henrik Zetterberg (seventh, 1999) and Tomas Holmstrom (10th, 1994). But this year, it made sense to use four of them as trade chips to add prospects in Cossa and Buium and established players in Nick Leddy and Alex Nedeljkovic.

Ultimately, whether Yzerman made the right choices in this draft will be determined down the road.  However, it looks like he added players who have the promise to help shape the Wings into a competitive team.

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