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Red Wings are tanking, but is it enough to land Jack Hughes at 1st overall?

Ottawa Senators are better at tanking right now

Jack Hughes of United States skates against Slovakia during the IIHF World Junior Championships at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre on December 26, 2018 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)

DETROIT – Will the Detroit Red Wings land Jack Hughes at first overall in this year's NHL Entry Draft?

Right now they are sitting in 30th place out of 31 teams, giving them a 13.5 percent chance of landing the top pick in this year's draft lottery. That's according to Tankathon, where you can simulate the lottery.

NOTE: I simulated the lottery five times at Tankathon, and the Red Wings landed in the top five each time, but only landed the top pick one of those times. What the heck? Not cool.

The Ottawa Senators are standing in Detroit's way right now, which is kind of amazing considering the Red Wings have lost eight in a row:

Feb. 16, 2019@ Philadelphia (1 p.m.)L 5-6 (OT) | Game Recap
Feb. 17, 2019 vs. Philadelphia (6 p.m.)L 1-3 | Game Recap
Feb. 20, 2019vs. Chicago L 4-5 (OT) | Game Recap
Feb. 22, 2019vs. Minnesota L 2-3 
Feb. 24, 2019vs. San Jose L 3-5 
Feb. 26, 2019 vs. Montreal L 1-8 | Game Recap
March 2, 2019@ ArizonaL 1-3
March 5, 2019@ ColoradoL 3-4 (OT) | Game Recap

 

That is how you tank. Keep this up and it's Jack Hughes in a Red Wings jersey this fall. But those pesky Senators know how to lose. Plus, when it came to selling assets at the deadline, no one did it better than Ottawa. They traded Mark Stone, Matt Duchene AND Ryan Dzingel. That's a sure way to tank.

And keep in mind the Los Angeles Kings are in this race, too. The Kings are tied in points with the Red Wings right now, but Detroit has one more regulation-overtime win (ROW), keeping them lower in the standings. It's going to be a barn burner at the end here if these teams know how to tank correctly.

Meanwhile, Hughes, 17, has 17 goals and 47 assists in 33 games played with the U.S. National U-18 Team this year. He's been considered top of his draft class since before this season even started.

If Detroit fails to land that top pick, they have some other options to consider including big right winger Kaapo Kakko out of Finland.

Who knows? I mean, really no one knows anything about these draft picks outside the top three or four -- and even that's a stretch in certain years. Unless you're an actual pro hockey scout, you don't know and can't know much about how NHL-ready any one player in these drafts is.

But Kaapo Kakko is a cool name, so he could work out just fine. Players from Finland are all the rage right now.

Here's what's left on the Red Wings schedule:

March 7, 2019 vs. New York Rangers (7:30 p.m.) 
March 9, 2019@ Tampa Bay (7 p.m.) 
March 10, 2019 @ Florida (5 p.m.) 
March 12, 2019@ Montreal (7:30 p.m.) 
March 14, 2019vs. Tampa Bay (7:30 p.m.) 
March 16, 2019vs. New York Islanders (1 p.m.) 
March 19, 2019@ New York Rangers (7 p.m.) 
March 21, 2019@ St. Louis (8 p.m.) 
March 23, 2019@ Vegas (10 p.m.) 
March 25, 2019@ San Jose (10:30 p.m.) 
March 28, 2019 @ Buffalo (7 p.m.) 
March 29, 2019 vs. New Jersey (7:30 p.m.) 
March 31, 2019vs. Boston (7:30 p.m.) 
April 2, 2019vs. Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m.) 
April 4, 2019@ Pittsburgh (7 p.m.) 
April 6, 2019vs. Buffalo (7 p.m.) 

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr.

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.