The Detroit Red Wings did not fall in the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery, nor did they rise. With the fifth-worst record in the league, at 19-27-10, they were assigned the sixth-best draft lottery odds. With the addition of Seattle, they were shifted down one draft slot.
While the Buffalo Sabres took home the glory of the first overall pick, they will likely be looking at defenseman Owen Power from the University of Michigan. But, down at sixth overall, the Detroit Red Wings will have a different crop of players to choose from.
Beyond that, keep in mind that the Red Wings have two first-round draft picks. General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman should be able to maneuver things around quite nicely. However, the likelihood is, the Red Wings will still make their selection at sixth and bring in another top talent.
They will be able to add another great player to the mix. With Moritz Seider being the selection in 2019 and Lucas Raymond being the choice in 2020, they have a good crop of young talent working their way into the NHL.
Here are three players the Detroit Red Wings need to consider selecting with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
First up, we’ll work through someone who is ranked in the three to seven range on some prospects lists and could very well be the draft choice. Secondly, we will look at a Michigan Wolverines standout who will go early on in the draft. Finally, we will close things out with a shocker of a pick.
Forward William Eklund – Djurgårdens IF
The first prospect the Red Wings should consider is Swedish prospect William Eklund, who plays for Djurgårdens IF of the SHL. The eighteen-year-old Swede would continue the trend of the Red Wings enjoying themselves some Swedish talent.
Eklund is a prospect who should be exciting to watch and mesh well with Lucas Raymond, another Swede. He is a 5-foot-10, 172-pound center, and winger who does a good job as a playmaker. Eklund has logged 60 games with “the big boys” in the Swedish Hockey League as a youngster in the past two seasons.
In 2020-21, Eklund played 40 games where he notched 11 goals and added 12 assists for 23 total points. In the postseason, he had a goal and an assist over the three-game run. While his 2019-20 stretch in the SHL was not as good, his time with Djurgårdens IF at the U20 level was impressive.
Eklund logged 31 games at the U20 level, where he had 12 goals and 24 assists for 36 total games. If the Red Wings take him, the long-term goal would be to have him work into the top-six as a playmaking threat.
Eklund does a great job setting up his teammates and making the most of offensive chances. He often finds the open man or puts the puck on the net, leading to good rebounds or finding the back of the net. He is a good forward and should be considered with the sixth overall pick.