The 2009 NHL Entry Draft kicks off on Friday, but SBN's mock draft has already begun. While you can view what the other team bloggers have selected for their respective teams, I need your help in determining the WIM selection for the Wings in the mock draft. I follow college hockey thanks to my internship with the Michigan athletic department, but I am not on top of it when it comes to junior hockey so I'm asking for WIM readers to help me out before I name our pick.
I have gathered what media pundits are predicting for the Wings' first round draft pick thus far below, but I would like your opinion on who our selection should be. What type of player should they be looking for -- defenseman, forward, or goalie? Do you think they'll pick a player from the junior leagues or the NCAA? North American player or European? Let us know what you think in the comment section!
The Vernon Morning Star talked to Vernon, B.C. native GM Ken Holland:
Next up for Holland and crew is the entry draft starting next Friday in Montreal. The Wings, who seemingly haven’t had a high pick since Gordie Howe, will again wait an hour before looking to scouts like Marty Stein of Vernon for their views.
"Picking 29th, it’s probably going to be a skater," said Holland, who is heading to his Coldstream home July 10 for a rest and some golf. "If you look at our history, we’re a big believer in hockey development. I don’t believe in entitlement. We draft players and let them develop at their own pace."
Detroit has the following picks: #29, #60, #90, #150, #180, and #210. They do not have a pick in the fourth round because we gave them up to LA (and last year's second round pick) in exchange for Brad Stuart. For more previews on Detroit's expected picks, click on the read more link below.
Kyle at Babcock's Death Stare:
29. Detroit Red Wings – Carl Klingberg, LW.
I’ve been reading a good deal of mock drafts lately, and the one thing that always infuriates me is when people make Detroit take a Swede and never back it up, just say something like "when has Detroit ever refused a Swede?" The answer to that supposedly rhetorical question is "frequently" because, outside of Niklas Kronwall, The Great Andres Eriksson is the only Swede Detroit has ever taken in the first round. Klingberg, however, appears like he’d be a great pick at this point. He seems very similar to Johan Franzen, and his tough two way play will come in handy in a few years when Tomas Holmstrom is long gone. Right now, he looks to be more of a two-way energy line player, as he’s very physical and a strong skater — very strong on his feet. He’s almost the same size at 6-foot-3, 205 already. He creates most of his offense with speed, but scouts think he has an untapped offensive potential because he has a very strong shot and a quick set of hands that he just rarely uses. That’s a risk I’m willing to take, considering that Franzen wasn’t even drafted until he was 24 and it nearly took him three full seasons to show that he was capable of scoring. Klingberg would have plenty of time to develop in Detroit’s system.
29. Nick Leddy, D
NHL Central Scouting's Jack Barzee: "He's such an explosive skater. It's pretty obvious he's a target of every opposing team because he's the engine that drives the train. Really, though, he's a world-class skater. I'd say he's in the same class as John Moore (Central Scouting's No. 8 ranked skater) and Josh Birkholz (No. 33) of this year's class."
NHL Central Scouting's Jack Barzee:" We've been trying to get him to shoot more because he's got such a great shot, but he's so unselfish with the puck and makes such good decisions -- he can really set up his teammates. He's grown into his body and he feeds off teams trying to take him out by matching that physicality. He's gotten good at initiating contact, so he hasn't allowed people to check him. He's getting to them first. . . . His game is made for the new kind of NHL, with the focus on skills, skating and ability to maneuver with the puck. I think the smaller defensemen in the NHL make it because of their skating, and that's Nick's best asset. "
An energetic forward who is not afraid to throw around his 6'3, 205-pound frame, Klingberg is also capable of producing offensively. A right-handed shot who plays along the left wing, his mix of grit and skill seems a smart choice for the Red Wings.
29. Detroit – Joonas Nattinen, C, Espoo Blues Jr., Finland-Jr. Big, reliable, two-way forward can play in Europe for a couple more seasons, then make an impact. Sound familiar?