DETROIT – The NHL Draft Lottery revealed Saturday night that the Detroit Red Wings will draft at 6th overall in this year's entry draft.
This is the highest draft position the Red Wings have had since 1990 when they chose forward Keith Primeau at 3rd overall. The Red Wings also had a 3rd overall pick in the 1990 NHL Supplemental Draft -- forward Mike Casselman.
Primeau played with Detroit until he was traded in 1996, the year before the Red Wings hoisted the Stanley Cup. Casselman never played with the Red Wings and only played three career games in the NHL with the Florida Panthers in 1995-96.
The Red Wings enjoyed a good 20 years of success between 1990 and 2010, winning four Stanley Cups and making the Cup final six times. High draft picks were hard to come by for such a winning team.
But now they are in full transition mode, missing the playoffs for the second-straight year after a 25-year run. The question is what do they need the most now? This year's draft boasts a list of highly-anticipated defenseman. The 6th overall pick could land Detroit a player who makes an impact in the lineup immediately. That's something this Red Wings team needs badly.
Here's who the Red Wings have selected in the first round of the past five entry drafts:
- 2013: Anthony Mantha (20th overall)
- 2014: Dylan Larkin (15th overall)
- 2015: Evgeny Svechnikov (19th overall)
- 2016: Dennis Cholowski (20th overall)
- 2017: Michael Rasmussen (9th overall)
Cholowski is the only defenseman in that group. The rest are forwards. Both Cholowski and Rasmussen have not played in a NHL game yet.
This 6th overall pick could be a player who enters the Red Wings lineup immediately. Top pairing defenseman are at a premium in the NHL -- more than ever.
Take a look at this:
DraftSite.com offers NHL mock drafts. Right now the site lists these 10 players in the top 10 for the 2018 draft:
Dahlin is the prize, sure, but there are five other defenseman listed in this top 10. The Red Wings might be thinking about adding to the blue line right away. They have 10 other picks in this draft, including a 29th overall pick, but getting a top-rated defenseman in the 1st round would be almost impossible to pass up -- right?
Of course, the Red Wings could decide to trade this 6th overall pick for even more picks. That's probably not likely, but it's possible.