Detroit Red Wings: A look at their past five first-round picks

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
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Filip Zadina: GP:9 | G:1 | A:2 | P:3

The 2018 Draft was one of the most important drafts in recent Detroit Red Wings history. The Red Wings may have failed to win the draft lottery, but picking sixth overall is nothing to be disappointed about. Picking sixth overall would be the highest draft pick the Wings’ have had since 1990, when they selected Keith Primeau third overall. Zadina was projected to be behind only Dahlin and Andrei Svechnikov (brother of Evgeni) by many mock drafts. What actually transpired was not expected.

The Montreal Canadiens decided to go for team needs, and drafted Finnish center Jesperi Kotkaniemi third overall. This wasn’t exactly off the board as it was slightly expected they would opt to draft a center. After Ottawa drafted Brady Tkachuk who shot up the draft board with his strong second half of the season, it was assumed that Arizona would take Zadina. Fortunately, they did not. No mock draft had center Barrett Hayden in the top-five, and many had him just outside the top-10 including TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

As a result, Zadina was not very pleased and made potentially a career-defining comment saying: “I’m going to fill their nets with pucks,” in reference to Ottawa and Montreal for passing on him. Ken Holland and the Detroit Red Wings couldn’t have got to the podium any quicker, as they locked-in Zadina as their pick. Though he didn’t get much of a chance to do so this season, the hope is that he will one day.

Despite slipping in the draft, Zadina has the elite-shooting ability and is dangerous every time he touches the puck in the offensive zone. Zadina finished his rookie season with Grand Rapids scoring 16 goals, 19 assists, 35 points in 59 games. Not a bad start to a career by any means. Often-times scoring in two’s, Zadina was called-up for a nine-game stint to see his progress. Zadina managed to score his first career goal, on the power-play against the San Jose Sharks.

In an up and down season for Zadina, there is much to be excited about. In a short time, we saw Zadina with the Detroit Red Wings; we saw how dangerous he was in the offensive zone. Credit to Zadina for creating chances every-time he was on the ice.

Zadina isn’t a finished product just yet, as he has to work significantly on his defensive game if he wants to be trusted playing in the NHL. Zadina is only 19-years old, and has a bright future ahead of him. The Red Wings will give him every opportunity to make the team this upcoming 2019-20 season. If Zadina is able to fine-tune his defensive woes, his offensive prowess will speak for itself. Have patience HockeyTown.

Potential: Elite Left-wing