Over the past couple of weeks, the hockey bloggers here at SBN have held their own mock draft with three picks released each weekday. Thanks to the Wings trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, Detroit has the 29th pick in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. After consulting various media outlets and draft guides, I have made my decision on behalf of the WIM crew.
"With the 29th pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the Detroit Red Wings select defenseman Nick Leddy from Eden Prairie, Minnesota."
Want to know why we selected Leddy? Click on the link below to find out.
- The Red Wings organization is all about strong skaters who can play at both ends of the ice. GM Ken Holland has stated before that he will take a smaller player who can skate over a big, physical body who can't. TSN spoke with NHL Central Scouting's Jack Barzee who said this about Leddy, "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."
- Detroit's puck possession system requires players who can confidently hang onto the puck and are skilled passers. Like the Wings' No. 2 defenseman Brian Rafalski, Leddy can make the strong outlet passes needed to jump start a rush. Hockey's Future has a great article up about Leddy's style of play.
- He'll enter the University of Minnesota as a freshman this fall, which is fine since the Wings don't need to plug their first-round pick into the lineup right away and will give Detroit four years to watch him develop in the NCAA.
- The Western College Hockey blog has a great roundup on Leddy, including comments on the quality character player that he is. The Hockey Writers also takes a nice look at Leddy and his potential. You can view Leddy's prospect profile at NHL.com, which also had an article they posted right after he won Mr. Hockey for the state of Minnesota.
Why Detroit won't pick Leddy:
- It's much harder to predict who the Wings will take since it's the second to last pick in the first round. Other pundits have selected prospects like Carl Klingberg, Peter Holland, Louis Leblanc and Kyle Palmieri for Detroit's 29th pick. Since WIM is participating in a mock draft, I could not pick a player that could very well go to Detroit but had already been selected by another SBN blogger. As a result, I could not take Peter Holland, Carter Ashton, or Joonas Nattinen who have all been talked by the media to be a good fit for Detroit.
- Carl Klingberg could very well be drafted by Detroit and I wouldn't be that surprised. The primary reason why I did not select Klingberg over Leddy is that Assistant GM Jim Nill told Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star that the Wings were looking for a defenseman first. Who is Klingberg? Hockey's Future has a brief piece up on him.
- Another reason why Detroit won't go with Leddy is if a defenseman they had rated higher than Leddy is still available or if a forward they think will be a hit is still out there to grab.
What do you guys think of this selection? Who do you think the Wings will draft in the first round?