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Two Red Wings Prospects Will Re-Enter The NHL Draft

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Mitch Wheaton (L)
Mitch Wheaton (L)
Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

Two defensemen the Red Wings drafted in 2013 will re-enter the draft this year after the Wings chose not to sign them to contracts. Mitch Wheaton was the Wings 5th round pick and 139th overall in 2013 and Marc McNulty was their 6th round, 169th overall pick. Both WHL defensemen went unsigned by the Wings by their June 1st signing deadline so they'll be eligible to be re-drafted in this year's entry draft.

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Marc McNulty is an extremely lanky 6'6" defenseman who's generously listed at 210 pounds. When the Wings drafted him they saw a lot of potential in his size, mobility, and reach, hoping he would become a 2-way defenseman with moderate offensive upside. Perhaps McNulty's most glaring weakness continues to be his lack of intensity and compete level. From the time he was drafted, whenever scouts, coaches, or Wings personnel talked about him, they would bring his lack of urgency and intensity up and say he needed to improve in those areas specifically. It doesn't seem like he's made much process in that department, and overall didn't progress like the Wings had hoped. Despite his size, whenever I had the opportunity to watch him play, he would get pushed around by smaller players and too often appeared to be thinking "meh".

WHL Career Stats

Season Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
2014-15 Regular Season Kamloops Blazers 30 3 9 12 -2 53
2014-15 Regular Season Prince George Cougars 30 5 10 15 4 64
2013-14 Regular Season Prince George Cougars 67 17 25 42 -10 115
2012-13 Regular Season Prince George Cougars 52 8 7 15 -18 70
2011-12 Regular Season Prince George Cougars 21 0 0 0 -6 8
Total 200 33 51 84 -32 310

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Mitch Wheaton is a 6'4" 222 pound defenseman who's been limited to only 100 of the Kelowna Rockets' 213 regular season games, and 27 of their 44 playoff games over the last 3 seasons. He's had multiple shoulder surgeries, a broken nose, and other injures that kept him sidelined for about half of his junior career. When the Wings drafted Wheaton they hoped he would be a big shut down defenseman who was quick thinking, smart, and moved the puck well. He never played a bruising style that one might assume he would based on his size, but that didn't matter to the Wings. Unfortunately largely because of injuries, Wheaton's development was significantly stunted and I'm sure that played a large part in the Wings deciding they no longer have interest in him.

WHL Career Stats

Season Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
2014-15 Regular Season Kelowna Rockets 4 0 1 1 1 6
2013-14 Regular Season Kelowna Rockets 57 7 21 28 31 38
2012-13 Regular Season Kelowna Rockets 39 1 7 8 20 27
Total 100 8 29 37 52 71
Season Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
2015 WHL Playoffs Kelowna Rockets 9 0 1 1 -3 0
2014 WHL Playoffs Kelowna Rockets 14 0 5 5 3 8
2013 WHL Playoffs Kelowna Rockets 4 0 0 0 -2 4
Total 27 0 6 6 -2 12

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In addition to Wheaton and McNulty, 10 other 2013 draftees will also re-enter this year's draft.

Player Pos Draft Team
Chris Clapperton LW Florida Panthers 122nd Pick
Brent Pedersen LW Carolina Hurricanes 126th Pick
Blake Heinrich D Washington Capitals 144th Pick
Myles Bell RW New Jersey Devils 160th Pick
Brendan Burke G Arizone Coyotes 163rd Pick
Tommy Veilleux LW Nashville Predators 171st Pick
Alexandre Belanger G Minnesota Wild 200th Pick
Miles Liberati D Vancouver Canucks 205th Pick
Anthony Brodeur G New Jersey Devils 208th Pick
Mitchell Dempsey LW Boston Bruins 210th Pick

Five wingers, 4 defensemen, and 3 goalies went unsigned from the 2013 draft class and Detroit and New Jersey had 2 players each. The Devils drafted Marty Brodeur's son Anthony in 2013 but didn't sign him, somehow I can't shake the feeling that the pick was largely because he's Marty's son and it kind of looks like they threw away a pick on him. Maybe the St. Louis Blues will draft him this time, since his Dad's the assistant GM now.