Steve Yzerman’s squad made three in-draft trades and ended up with eight selections from the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
Red Wings picks
Here are your 2021 Detroit Red Wings draft picks:
Simon Edvinsson is a native of Sweden. He’s 6-foot-5 and is described as a “detailed defender with high-level in-zone instincts, a tight neutral zone gap, well-timed physicality, and supporting instincts to match” by Elite Prospects. He played 10 games with Frölunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League this past season. He shoots left.
The Red Wings traded up to the 15th overall pick to select goalie Sebastian Cossa by sending three picks to the Dallas Stars -- the 23rd overall pick, a 2nd-round pick (48th overall) and a 5th-round pick (138th overall) in this year’s draft.
Cossa, 18, stands 6-foot-6 and is coming out of Canada’s Western Hockey League (WHL) where he posted a .941 save percentage through 19 games played this past season with the Edmonton Oil Kings. He also had 4 shutouts. He played 33 games with the Oil Kings in 2019-20 for a .921 save percentage -- he also had 4 shutouts that season. Yzerman said the addition of Alex Nedeljkovic allows them to be more patient with Cossa.
To select defenseman Shai Buium at 36th overall in the 2nd round, the Red Wings struck another trade. Detroit sent the 38th (2nd round) and 128th (4th round) picks to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for the 36th overall pick in the 2nd round where they drafted Buium. Buium, 18, spent the past season playing with the prestigious Shattuck St. Mary’s prep high school. He also played 50 games with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL. He shoots left and is listed at 6-foot-3, 213 pounds.
Detroit then selected a local kid, left wing Carter Mazur, at 70th overall (3rd round). Mazur, 19, is a product of the Little Caesars youth hockey program based in Metro Detroit. He played this past season in the USHL with the Tri-City Storm, scoring 44 points in 47 games played. Mazur was captain of the Storm. He played part of the 2018-19 season with the U.S. national development program in Plymouth, Mich. but then joined the Storm.
Detroit made a third in-draft trade with the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, giving them the 102nd pick in exchange for the 114th and 155th picks.
The Red Wings then selected two centers:
- Red Savage from the U.S. development program at 114th overall (4th round). Savage had 42 points in 46 games played this past season. He captained USA’s U18 team at the WJC.
- Liam Dower Nilsson, selected 134th overall in the 5th round, was Edvinsson’s teammate this past season with Frölunda. He was Sweden’s U18 captain at WJC.
Finally, left wing/center Pasquale Zito was taken at 166th overall in the 6th round. He’s with the Windsor Spitfires right now, where he’s slated to play again this fall, keeping him local.
There is a lot to digest here. First, you have to respect the way Yzerman used his surplus of draft picks to trade up and get the players he wanted. I especially liked the move to get Cossa at 15th overall.
Second, this draft class is clearly loaded on the back end for a GM who said he was not planning on drafting for position and only focusing on the best player available. Trading up to get both a goalie and defenseman kind of makes it clear that’s where the focus was heading into this draft.
The question I have: Do any of these players have a chance of cracking Detroit’s lineup in 2021-22?
Time will tell.
Free agency opens Wednesday, July 28. We’re bracing for some action from the Red Wings.