SUNRISE, FLA -- Another successful draft in the books for Ken Holland and the Detroit Red Wings organization. While no trades were made on the team's end, they acquired six promising young prospects to bolster all three zones in offense, defense, and goalie.
Red Wings Picks:
Surprise, surprise.. The Red Wings did not draft one Sweden-born player this year. All but one player (Van Pottelberghe) are currently playing in North America, and two of them are committed to the University of Maine (Holway, Pearson.)
I can't even describe it, it's a dream come true. It's unbelievable. My father pretty much just told me to enjoy the ride, it only happens once. Take it step-by-step and day-by-day. He's been really important in my development, he coached me growing up, and he's the reason I am where I am today.
Said Chase Pearson, son of former-NHL player Scott Pearson. He describes himself as a two-way player, but wants to focus a lot of getting bigger and turning into a power forward type who can put up points in a bottom six role.
7th round pick Adam Marsh is a Chicago-native, who grew up a Blackhawks faithful, but is nevertheless extremely excited to be here today. As a 17-year-old, Marsh put up 44 points in 60 games in the QMJHL before he was sidelined by an injury that sat him out during the playoffs.
It was a big bummer to go down with an injury right before the playoffs. I feel like I could have helped the team a lot, but the guys helped me through it. It's important not to dwell on it so much, because at that point you're just spinning your tires.
I went into today with the mentality that I wasn't going to get picked.. I think that was important so I wasn't worrying about it all day. I was a big Blackhawks fan, but I always liked the Red Wings. They always had great games against each other. I'm a fast left winger with a heavy shot, and I want to work on my abilities in the defensive zone. It's come a long way since last year, but I'm going to keep working on it.
One of the standout picks today was Patrick Holway. At 18 years old the right-shooting defenseman stands at 6'4" and weighs in at 201 lbs. Holway put up 25 points in 28 games with the Boston Advantage last season. More on Holway from SB Nation College Hockey:
The obvious story of the Red Wings draft plunder is Russian-born forward Evgeny Svechnikov, who became the highest Russian draft pick in Red Wings history:
This is huge day for Russian hockey. I am just so happy to be where I am and I can't wait to play NHL.
Svechnikov, the 6'3" 205 lbs forward put up 78 points in 55 games during his QMJHL rookie campaign. He has a perfect blend of size and skill that can form into a top-six NHL power forward.
More on Svechnikov from Future Considerations:
At the Q level he is a man amongst boys and he is incredibly tough to knock off the puck. While Svechnikov is already a dan- gerous player I think he still has a lot of room to grow. He still has some bad habits, and he could be a more consistent offensive force. Overall I think Svechnikov has both the tools and potential to warrant a high selection and if he continues to pile up the points, the sky is the limit.
Red Wings Director of Amateur Scouting Tyler Wright was able to spend some time with the media post-draft to talk about how the Red Wings fared with their picks this year:
You want to take the best player, and you want to address needs at the same time. Obviously [right-hand defensemen] have been widely talked about, and [the media] has talked about it extensively. If you don't draft any right-handed defensemen, you never have any in your system. We like these players, we pushed them up on our list, and we got them.. So, that's exciting.
The Finnish defenseman [Vili Saarijarvi] was too dynamic to pass up. We were initially considering the goalie in the third round.
[on Patrick Holway]
He's a big kid that can skate, but he's played at a very low level of hockey. He's got high hockey senses, and really he's the complete package. He's committed to Maine, so we gotta get him to a higher level of hockey and see what this kid can do. We liked him the whole way around, but we would have been devastated if we couldn't have gotten him in the seventh, so we took him in the sixth.
[on Adam Marsh]
This was a guy that we thought would be gone in the seventh round, we actually talked about him in the sixth, but we went with the bigger defenseman. When he was available at 200th overall it was a no-brainer for us.
He's just the complete package. Size, strength, competitiveness, hockey sense, skill.. There's not really one thing he doesn't do very well. I think his skating's gotta come a little bit, it's not bad by any means but I think it will get better as he develops, and he's committed. He's a good character kid. He wants, and hockey means everything to him and his family.
I had asked Wright if not having a second round pick was a damper on the table's spirits, in which he responded with:
Not really. We're trying to win a Stanley Cup. Obviously Erik Cole got hurt, and it didn't work out, but that's hockey, you know? The kids we drafted today we hope will be a part of a Stanley Cup team some day.
Wright went on to comment on prospect camp, and how he was unsure of who would be attending, and that would be discussed later on today. When asked if it's difficult that NCAA prospects are unable to attend main camp or the tournament:
Not really. I mean, if you look at the guy we took last year who played in the NCAA last year [Dylan Larkin] well, I'd say that worked out pretty well.
All-in-all, this was another great year for the Detroit Red Wings system bringing in a blue chip prospect like Evgeny Svechnikov, and two big right-shooting defensemen in Saarijarvi and Holway. Prospect development camp commences next week, and the path to these young prospect's NHL careers will begin.