Red Wings Mock Draft 2014: No True Consensus Apparent

Bruce Bennett

Just a few hours closer to the NHL Draft (7pm, in case you forgot). Let's take another look at the mock drafts.

First off, SB Nation pooled together and did a mock draft. In that one, we ended up taking Alex Tuch with the 15th overall.  Here's a tidbit from Kyle's write-up:

He reminds me of the player I want Justin Abdelkader to be.. Physical, strong on the puck, but actually skillful in other areas like scoring and puck movement. I think with the recent pickup of Tomas Nosek, the Red Wings have the luxury of drafting a winger as opposed to a center. Usually you don't draft by position in the first round, you just take the best player possible. If Tuch is available at 15th overall, I have a hard time believing he wouldn't be the best pick available.

Michael Petrella, formerly of The Production Line, but still the voice behind @TPLHockey on Twitter, who helped us out last year when we took Anthony Mantha in that mock draft, posted a large draft profile over at Detroithockey.net where he absolutely pores over all the options. When it comes down to running out the first round, Petrella selected center Dylan Larkin, a hulking Michigan native who'll spend several years in the NCAA before turning pro.

Meanwhile, NHL.com posted three mock drafts. Here are their experts' takes.

Adam Kimelman Mike G. Morreale Steven Hoffner
Jack Dougherty, D, USA U-18 (USHL) Julius Honka, D, Swift Current (WHL) Adrian Kempe, RW, Modo Jr. (SWE-JR)
"Red Wings have added youth and skill to their forward group the past few years; now is the time to focus on smart, skilled defensemen." "Played a key role for Finland at the 2014 World Junior Championship. Excelled in his first North American season with 16 goals and 56 points in 62 games; good awareness and excels on the power play." "The big, smooth-skating forward would fill a need up front for an aging forward group."

So a mix between defense and European coming from the NHL experts. Makes sense.

Over at TSN, Bob McKenzie has put together his final draft rankings. It's not a mock draft per se, but he has center Kevin Fiala out of Sweden's HV71 club as his 15th-ranked prospect. For the actual mock draft, TSN had Craig Button run it. For the Wings' spot, he picked Jared McCann, a 6'0", 180lb center out of Sault Ste. Marie, calling McCann a "200-foot player"

Over at USA Today, Kevin Allen also had the Wings taking center Dylan Larkin of the U.S. Under-18 team, saying this about him

The dependable two-way forward would fit perfectly into Detroit's puck-possession offense. He's a good skater.

For what it's worth, Allen had Tuch still on the board with that pick. Elsewhere at USA Today, Kyle Woodlief took David Pastrnak

There's a ton of these with picks all over the place. Here's how it runs.

Writer Site Selection Money Quote
Staff Hockey's Future Dylan Larkin - LW "Dylan Larkin is an assertive, playmaking forward who has excellent hockey sense and can contribute at both ends of the ice. A Michigan native, he should be a great fit for the Wings and will be given plenty of time to develop at the University of Michigan."
Justin Bourne The Score Brayden Point - C "As a smaller forward, Point models his game after Buffalo Sabres forward Tyler Ennis."
Allan Muir Sports Illustrated Kevin Fiala - C "Forced you to pay attention every time he was on the ice. Was a point-a-game guy in Swedish juniors, and didn't blink when he was promoted to play against the men. Thinks as fast as he skates. Has that ability to make a play when it looks like he's out of options. Great vision. He's magic when the puck's on his stick. High-end offensive instincts. High-ceiling player."
Sam Cosentino Sportsnet Jakub Vrana - C "There's some Pavel Datsyuk hiding in there. Enough said."
Russ Cohen CSN Philly Brendan Perlini - LW The Red Wings need some more offensive powerhouses in the cupboard. Perlini wins puck battles and can score down low. Detroit likes these kinds of players, and he's only a few years away from playing in the NHL.
Nicholas Goss NESN Kasperi Kapanen, RW, KalPa (Finland) "Kapanen is a great skater, a good puck handler and an improving playmaker. He hasn't performed that well in Finland at the club level recently, and that has hurt his draft stock a bit, but he still projects to be a top-six forward."
Patrick King Sportsnet Robby Fabbri - C "Fabbri is a high-end talent with off-the charts offensive ability."
Corey Pronman ESPN.com Sonny Milano - LW [none available] - Here's Eliteprospect's page on him.
Mike Finewax Yahoo Brendan Perlini - LW "Every team is looking for a goal scorer and Perlini could be the best of this bunch. He had trouble in the playoffs as he is not a physical player and he still needs to work on his defensive game."
Allan Mitchell Bleacher Report Jakub Vrana - LW "He plays with determination and drive, has an excellent work ethic and is a very fast skater with excellent all-round skills. He is able to control the game and create a lot of scoring possibilities with his quick moves." - Goran Stubb, for NHL.com
Dan Di Sciullo Miami Herald Julius Honka - D "Honka, a Finnish defenseman playing in the WHL for Swift Current, has a skill set modeled after Ottawa Senators blueliner Erik Karlsson."

As you can see, ideas are all over the place for this year's draft. The going consensus is that there's a drop-off in talent behind the absolute top-tier guys and this could drive the Wings to trading down in hopes of recovering another pick to make up for their lack of a 2nd-rounder. Based on their history, this wouldn't surprise anybody, but they'll have a lot of options if they choose to keep the #15.

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