Now that the dust has settled on the 2013 NHL draft it is time to look at how Ken Holland and his staff helped to improve the Wings.
Much like the MLB draft, many of the players drafted in the 2013 NHL draft are unlikely to impact their teams this year. Considering that, it is hard to judge a draft class until time and experience plays itself out. What you can judge a general manager on however is how much potential each pick has and their likely hood to fill needs down the line.
Most of the players drafted by the Red Wings were Canadian. In fact, 6 of the Red Wings 8 draft choices come from North of the Border. The other two were Swedish. The Red Wings also focused on the offensive zone with 6 of 8 picks being forwards. The number 1 pick Anthony Mantha figures to be with the Red Wings soon. He is goal scorer with puck awareness and heavy left-handed wrist shot. A left-handed scoring presence is something the Wings have lacked in recent years. Mantha could provide that presence in couple of seasons for the Wings.
It is hard to predict which players will turn out to be dominate and which ones will fade. Take the 1998 draft for example, Pavel Datsyuk was a 6th round pick while Jiri Fischer was a 1st round pick. Unfortunately Jiri Fischers career was cut short because a heart condition while Pavel Datsyuk has gone on to be one of the best players in the NHL.
So with all that in mind we will grade out the 2013 NHL draft selections by the Detroit Red Wings.
1st Round – #20 Anthony Mantha – LW – Canada – GRADE: A
This is a big kid. Good skater great wrist shot and left handed to boot. The Wings filled a need here and he should be ready to help the Wings pretty quickly.
2nd Round -#48 Zach Natasiuk – RW – Canada - GRADE: B
Hard nosed player that by all accounts needs to improve his skating ability but has a nose for the net. Should and some toughness on the wing.
2nd Round – #56 Tyler Bertuzzi – LW – Canada – GRADE: C
It wasa brililant move to trade down in the first and pick up an extra second rounder. But then to spend it on a player that will easily be a 3 to 4 year project is questionable, even if his last name is Bertuzzi.
3rd Round#79 Mattias Janmark-Nylen – C -Sweden – GRADE: B
Not a great skater but good offensive instincts. The Red Wings need goal scoring instincts and this guy could develop into one of those crash the net types.
4th Round #109 David Pope – LW – Canada – GRADE: A
Pope missed some time with injury but was still the second leading scorer on his team. There is a little injury risk here which is probably why he fell but the Wings can take a risk on a player in the fourth round. If he stays healthy he could be the steal of the draft.
5th round -#139 Mitchell Wheaten – D – Canada – GRADE: B
Big bodies stay at home Defensemen that will punish guys when they cross the blueline. Will take a couple of years to develop.
6th Round – #169 Marc McNulty – D -Canada – GRADE: B-
Drafted this guy for size. Something the Red Wings have lacked over the years. Raw talent needs developement
#199 Hampus Melen – RW – Sweden – GRADE: B
Total development project. Has raw talent but could be 4 years before he sees the ice in Detroit. It’s in seventh round though so what do you expect.
OVERALL GRADE: B+
A solid draft by Ken Holland and the Red Wings. They drafted a good mix of players. Some could help the Wings rather quickly while others are projects. The Red Wings also drafted players that seemed to have size and toughness as part of their game. Would have liked to see a bit more speed in some of them but overall a solid job by the best general manager in the business.