If the Detroit Red Wings do not have the first selection in the 2019-20 draft, taking James Drysdale would be an exceptional selection.
The Detroit Red Wings do not have the first overall selection locked up; if they end up not picking Alexis Lafrenière first, Jamie Drysdale is a safe option. The young defenseman checks off all the boxes and could be a lethal combination alongside Moritz Seider from this season.
In an ideal world, the Red Wings nab the first overall selection and take Lafrenière, and everyone rejoices. However, the more likely of the scenarios is that the Red Wings have to settle for some of the next best future National Hockey League (NHL) Prospects.
There are a plethora of talented players after Lafrenière, and Drysdale might be the best option. Drysdale was ranked third overall by the NHL Central Scouting rankings, but could easily slide up to second or down to fourth.
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Drysdale is an eighteen-year-old defenseman, standing 5-foot-11, and 170-pounds.
Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Drysdale was a defenseman for the 2020 World Junior Champion Canadian team.
Also playing in 49 games for the Erie Otters of Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
With the Otters, Drysdale posted nine goals and 38 assists for 47 points on the season.
With the Canadian team, Drysdale scored one goal and added two assists in the seven games he played. Drysdale can move the puck up ice exceptionally well, which makes him worth the look.
Looking at his tendencies that make the General Managers around the league get excited is his offensive driven style. An offensive defenseman who can move the puck up the ice, see the play well, make adjustments on the fly, as well as make smart plays under pressure.
In contrast with Seider’s style of play, Drysdale is not as physical, as a 5-foot-11 defender, he is better served as the offensive defender, but he does not run from physical play. He can take hits; he does a phenomenal job of spinning off them and continuing to carry the puck.
After watching some tape on Drysdale, it seems that a pass-first defender who finds the open man and creates scoring chances seems like his future. A solid top-pairing defender who can carry the puck when needed and join the rush to pitch in, in the offensive zone.
With the Otters, Drysdale was the quarterback of the power-play, running the point, which is something he could do in the NHL. An offensive defenseman would be something the Red Wings could drastically use, and Drysdale might be the answer.
If the Detroit Red Wings do not end up with the first pick, there is no reason why Jamie Drysdale should not be in consideration for whatever selection the Red Wings do end up with.