Detroit Red Wings: Early thoughts on the 2020 NHL Entry Draft

The Detroit Red Wings have clinched the best odds at the first overall pick, take a look at some of the players they may select with their first-round pick.

With the COVID-19 outbreak impacting the rest of the National Hockey League (NHL) season, things may be pushed back or shaken up. However, one thing is for sure; the Detroit Red Wings will have a top-four draft pick after the NHL Draft Lottery is shaken out.

The Red Wings are going to walk away with another top talent to add to the organization, after last summer they added defenseman Moritz Seider, who has panned out quite well for the organization.  With any luck, the Red Wings will be able to add another top-flight prospect to the organization to pair with forwards like Joe Veleno.

The top of the draft class is stacked full of promising talent; ending up with the first pick is ideal, but if it does not work out, then the Red Wings will still end up with a great player. The top four talents that will go early in the draft are Quinton Byfield, Jamie Drysdale, Alexis Lafranière, and Marco Rossi.

Looking at Byfield, he is a 2002 birth year who stands 6-foot-4, 217 pounds. He is a center who is stationed with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

Through forty-five games, Byfield has scored thirty-two goals and tallied fifty assists for eighty-two points.

He has every chance to be one of the top two picks in the upcoming draft. Byfield’s big frame and ability as an offensive threat should bode well while making the transfer into the American Hockey League (AHL) and NHL levels.

If the Red Wings opt to bring in another defenseman, it will likely be Jamie Drysdale, who gets his call if he is available.

Another 2002 birth year, Drysdale is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound right-handed shooting defender. Drysdale is also in the OHL, playing for the Erie Otters, where he has nine goals and thirty-eight assists for forty-seven points in forty-nine games.

On top of his performance with the Otters, Drysdale notched a goal and two assists in seven games with the 2020 Canadian World Juniors team. He has been noted as one of the top prospects for the upcoming draft and might be the Red Wings target if they fall to the fourth pick.

Perhaps the most talked about name in the upcoming draft is Lafranière, who has vaulted himself into the top spot. If the Red Wings can nab the 6-foot-1, 192-pound  left-winger, they will be set for the future. He has put on quite the show this season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) for Rimouski Oceanic.

Lafranière has played in fifty-two games scoring thirty-five goals, notching seventy-seven assists for 122 points. He also scored four goals and six assists at the World Junior Championships for the Canadian team. He will be the first overall pick this upcoming draft.

The fourth, more of an underdog candidate to be a top pick is Rossi, and the left-handed shooting center is another OHL product. The 5-foot-9, 179-pound eighteen-year-old has put up incredible numbers with the Ottawa 67’s.

In fifty-six games, Rossi scored thirty-nine goals, tallied eighty-one assists for a total of 120 total points. Rossi’s breakout performance earns him a look, and if the Red Wings end up with him, they will be more than well off for the future.

This is just a brief look into four prospects whom the Detroit Red Wings will most likely have a chance at with one of the top four picks in this year’s upcoming NHL Entry Draft.