DETROIT, MICH -- With the 2015 NHL Draft hastily approaching it's commence, Ken Holland and his scouting team will no doubt be sitting down to chatter about possible tactics going into the event. Before we get into my possible trade situations, let's have a look at what draft picks the Red Wings currently have on the board:
|2nd||49th (Traded to Dallas)|
|3rd||73rd (From Dallas)|
To be clear, I fully anticipate Ken Holland trying to get ahold of a 2nd round pick somehow. He's done this countless times in years past by trading his 1st round pick down for a later 1st, and a 2nd round pick.. Basically exactly what we saw with the deal that brought Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi to the system when Detroit traded it's 18th overall pick to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for their 20th, and 58th overall picks in 2013. In this year's draft there are a handful of teams who have multiple early and late 1st round picks, and some of those teams have multiple 2nd round picks. Here is my list of potential candidates:
|Team||1st and 2nd Round Picks|
|Arizona Coyotes||3rd, 29th or 30th, 32nd, 59th|
|Buffalo Sabres||2nd, 21st, 31st, 53rd|
|Minnesota Wild||20th, 50th|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||28th, 44th|
|Winnpeg Jets||17th, 25th, 47th|
What should Detroit stay away from?
Trading up is the main one. The Red Wings aren't going to get into the lottery picks without dishing up big assets that will likely result in an overpayment. They're not going to get a defenseman like Noah Hanifin or Ivan Provorov, so let's put that to rest right now. Trading up to the top ten almost always comes with an extravagant price tage.. Especially in a draft class like 2015.
What should Detroit target?
The Red Wings are going to want a 2nd round pick. With so much depth in the top 60 of this draft (and beyond), moving down five or so picks in the first round might end up being an extremely smart move to bolster their core of prospects. The best bet lies with a team like Buffalo or Arizona - Two teams who are in rebuild mode, have a deluge of 1st and 2nd round picks, and could possibly be looking to move those bottom 1st round picks up into the top 20. There is potential with Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and Winnipeg, but my gut feeling is that they're not going to be as interested in moving up at the cost of their 2nd round picks. Could Detroit sweeten the deal with a roster player? Sure. Would that result in an overpayment? Absolutely. The fact of the matter is that it really depends on what prospects are available once Detroit's 19th overall pick is on the clock. If Steve Yzerman, Chuck Fletcher, or Kevin Cheveldayoff are high on a certain player available at the time, it will change the entire situation. Since I can't predict that, we'll stick with Arizona and Buffalo for sanity's sake.
Hypothetical Trades with Arizona and Buffalo:
The 2nd and 3rd overall picks are out the window. Not even gonna try to speculate on that. Let's go with Arizona first.
Arizona acquired the Blackhawks' 1st round pick in the trade for Antoine Vermette. Since Chicago is in the Stanley Cup Final, that pick will either be 29th or 30th overall. If we're going to drop down 10 or 11 picks, I would like to see Arizona's early 2nd round pick. It's a deep draft, prices are high to trade up. Their 59th overall pick came from the New York Rangers in the Keith Yandle deal.
19th overall pick, a possible lesser prospect or asset to make the deal happen (proceed with caution, as I don't think this is necessary by any means)
29th or 30th, and 32nd overall picks.
This is a trade that I think should happen. If it does, you get a chance at adding players like forward Jeremy Bracco, and defenseman Rasmus Andersson. You could also consider 19th overall for 32nd and 59th overall, but that seems like an overpayment to me. OR..
19th overall pick
29th or 30th, and 59th overall picks.
Still an ok trade, but for 19th overall, I'm not entirely sold on being as valuable.
Buffalo has a stock of draft picks, and even though they have locked in on Jack Eichel, they're still not out of the rebuild. Moving up in the draft could still be on the cards for them. Let's ignore the whole Mike Babcock giving them the run-around topic, because that literally has nothing to do with the Red Wings. The Sabres 21st and 51st overall picks all come from the Thomas Vanek trade.
19th overall pick
21st, and 51st overall picks.
This makes sense to me, it's quite similar to the trade that Holland made in 2013. I don't think Buffalo will deal their 33rd overall pick in one of these situations to move up slightly from the pick they received from NYI. The trade I proposed moves Detroit down slightly, and gains an additional later 2nd round pick. This could very well be the most likely of situations come day one of the NHL Draft.
So there you go, a few things to think about as the Draft approaches. Detroit's best bet is to acquire a 2nd round pick by trading 19th overall down to another team. This of course, is just using draft picks. Ken Holland could likely acquire a 2nd round pick by dealing roster players, but that's an entirely different can of worms to open up at this time. I'll let you speculate that for now.