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2020 NHL draft this week: Red Wings have 4th overall pick

Yzerman has 10 picks

HAMILTON, ON - JANUARY 16:  Cole Perfetti #91 of Team White skates during the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game against Team Red at FirstOntario Centre on January 16, 2020 in Hamilton, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
HAMILTON, ON - JANUARY 16: Cole Perfetti #91 of Team White skates during the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game against Team Red at FirstOntario Centre on January 16, 2020 in Hamilton, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) (2020 Getty Images)

Finally, the NHL Draft is Tuesday, Oct. 6 beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Rounds 2-7 will be held Wednesday, Oct. 7 beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET.

The first round will be broadcast on NBCSN while the second round will be on NHL Network.

Here’s another look at Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman’s list of picks in this draft:

That’s 10 draft picks altogether for the Red Wings this year.

Mock drafts have Red Wings picking forward

Yzerman is going to pick the best player available. That’s what I believe. That likely means the Red Wings will select a forward at 4th overall, barring any crazy trades.

A lot of mock drafts have forward Cole Perfetti, from the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit, going to Detroit at 4th overall. Perfetti had 37 goals and 74 assists in 61 OHL games this past season. He’s described as a “a cerebral puck carrier able to create the time and space necessary for himself and his linemates.” He actually sounds a lot like a young Steve Yzerman, and we know Yzerman has been scouting him closely.

HAMILTON, ON - JANUARY 16:  Cole Perfetti #91 of Team White moves the puck past Mercer Dawson #19 of Team Red during the second period of the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at FirstOntario Centre on January 16, 2020 in Hamilton, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
HAMILTON, ON - JANUARY 16: Cole Perfetti #91 of Team White moves the puck past Mercer Dawson #19 of Team Red during the second period of the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at FirstOntario Centre on January 16, 2020 in Hamilton, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) (2020 Getty Images)

If you believe Yzerman is drafting for position and would rather build from the blue line, then perhaps he selects defenseman Jake Sanderson out of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program in Plymouth. Sanderson is the son of ex-NHLer Geoff Sanderson.

Here’s how Elite Prospects describes the young Sanderson:

“Sanderson recognizes appropriate times to join the rush and pinches on opposing wingers well, sealing off pass options along the boards to prevent breakouts. He’s got a quick wrister as well that can create havoc. He’s calculated, disciplined, physical, and creative. There just isn’t much that he can’t do in the defensive zone at an exceptionally high level.”

I like The Score’s mock draft here -- it has Sanderson dropping to 8th overall. However, remember Yzerman drafted defenseman Moritz Seider at 6th overall last year when many thought Seider would drop further down the list.

Yzerman is going to Yzerman. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that he selects a goalie -- Russia’s Yaroslav Askarov is considered perhaps the top goalie prospect since Carey Price (Price went 5th overall in 2005).


Don’t sleep on free agency

Free agency will open at noon Friday, Oct. 9. I fully expect the Red Wings to be extremely busy in free agency. This is a dream scenario for Yzerman: He has cap space and room to get creative with short-term signings.

Here are some of the names attached to the Red Wings right now:

  • Goalie Jacob Markstrom of the Vancouver Canucks -- With Jimmy Howard moving on, the Red Wings need another goalie. NHL insider Elliotte Friedman seems to think the 30-year-old goalie has a good chance at ending up in Detroit. Five years? Is that a good idea?
  • Defenseman Andy Greene of the New York Islanders -- The Trenton, Mich. native had spent his entire 14-year NHL career with the New Jersey Devils before being traded at the deadline to the playoff-bound Islanders. He helped the Islanders go deep in the bubble tournament with 4 points in 21 playoff games. Friedman said on his “31 Thoughts” podcast that Greene is described as a veteran presence with a good attitude, similar to Marc Staal who the Red Wings picked up a week ago.

The Red Wings are officially saying so long to defensive vets Jonathan Ericsson and Trevor Daley, so it would make sense to sign at least two other blue line vets right now. I don’t think the plan is to be embarrassed on a nightly basis anymore.


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