Red Wings NHL draft preview: Who is best available at 6th overall?

Trevor Zegras could be best available

Steve Yzerman on November 13, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Detroit Red Wings own the 6th overall pick in this year's NHL draft.

It begins with round one tonight in Vancouver. The draft then continues on Saturday.

Of course, this is Steve Yzerman's first draft as Red Wings GM. Will he take best available or is it a specific position Yzerman is after? Does it matter at all?

Remember, last year when Filip Zadina fell into Ken Holland's lap at 6th overall was the most exciting Red Wings draft ever. Honestly, I can't think of a more exciting draft in recent Red Wings history. To have multiple teams pass on a player like Zadina and allow him to fall to 6th overall, where the Red Wings sat with open arms -- does it get any better than that?

Zadina is making an immediate impact in this Red Wings organization. He had 35 points in 59 games played this past season for the Grand Rapids Griffins. He was up with the Red Wings for just nine games in the spring, but you can expect him to be on the opening night roster this fall.

So yes, the draft matters when you're taking someone in the top 10 or 15. I always like to see teams in these positions take best overall, especially young rebuilding teams like the Red Wings. It does not seem worth it to gamble at this point and try to be the smartest person in the room, especially when you have several up-and-coming young players already in the lineup. There's going to be a competition for roster spots anyway.

But the scouts and GMs know best. They are trusted with finding ways to make the draft work best for their organization.

Trevor Zegras at 6th overall?

Short of putting together yet another mock draft -- see rant here -- forward Trevor Zegras could be the best option available for the Red Wings at 6th overall. Zegras is considered a versatile forward who excels both on the wing and at center. Some people have him going at 5th overall to the Los Angeles Kings, but if he falls to 6th I can't see the Red Wings passing on him. At least I wouldn't want to see them pass on him as he appears to be best available.

The Kings, meanwhile, reportedly are eyeing a defenseman at 5th overall -- Bowen Byram out of the WHL. Again, I am not a fan of drafting for position this high in round one, but the spoils go to the next team in line so have at it you fools.

Back to Zegras: One thing that sticks out to me, personally, is that Zegras is the No. 2 center with the U.S. National Team Development program. Their No. 1 center, of course, is Jack Hughes, who is pretty much a lock for going 1st overall in this year's draft. Makes you wonder: Have we even seen the best of Zegras if he's being overshadowed by Hughes?

Check out Zegras' draft profile here. At just 18 years old he's listed at 5-foot-11, 165 pounds. Not a huge guy, but this is a speed league right now -- see Mitch Marner. Plus, he's a kid. It's not like he can't fill out over the next few years.

Here's the 1st round order:

1. New Jersey
2. NY Rangers
3. Chicago
4. Colorado (from OTT)
5. Los Angeles
6. Detroit
7. Buffalo
8. Edmonton
9. Anaheim
10. Vancouver
11. Philadelphia
12. Minnesota
13. Florida
14. Arizona
15 Montreal
16. Colorado

17. Vegas
18. Dallas
19. Ottawa (from CBJ)
20. Winnipeg (from NYR)
21. Pittsburgh
22. Los Angeles (from TOR)
23. NY Islanders
24. Nashville
25. Washington
26. Calgary
27. Tampa Bay
28. Carolina
29. Anaheim (from SJS-BUF)
30. Boston
31. Buffalo (from STL)

Here's the rest of the Red Wings draft positions:

  • 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