DETROIT – Steve Yzerman will have his pick of players this summer.
The Detroit Red Wings' newest general manager made it clear during his introductory news conference last week that he places a high importance on the NHL Entry Draft.
"It's imperative that we do well in the draft," he said."There is an exciting group of young players, young prospects and a lot of draft picks. It's going to take some time, but I believe there's a foundation there for this team to be successful."
Here's where the Red Wings will draft, starting with the first round on Friday, June 21:
- Round 1 -- 6th overall
- Round 2 -- 35th overall
- Round 2 -- 57th overall
- Round 2 -- 58th overall
- Round 3 -- 66th overall
- Round 4 -- 97th overall
- Round 5 -- 128th overall
- Round 5 -- 143rd overall
- Round 6 -- 159th overall
- Round 7 -- 190th overall
While it's true scouts are responsible for a lot of what goes on in the NHL Entry Draft, it's still the GM who makes the final call. In the 2011 draft, Yzerman selected winger Nikita Kucherov in the second round, 58th overall for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Kucherov has become one of the most dominant goal scorers in the game, with a hockey IQ second to few.
The Lightning then selected Ondrej Palat in the seventh round -- he has 287 points in 427 career games. And the hits kept coming for Yzerman -- Brayden Point was a 4th-round pick; Mathieu Joseph was a 4th-round pick; Anthony Cirelli was taken in the 3rd round; Cedric Paquette was a 4th-rounder.
Yzerman has been finding the pieces to his team in late rounds, something every NHL general manager dreams about but few can achieve with consistency.