With the NHL Draft taking place next week in Buffalo, we know the probable players that will be available for the Red Wings to choose from at pick 16. We also know the players that we do not expect to be available at 16.
If someone unexpectedly drops the question of why are they dropping, will be on inquiring minds.
It could just be because someone went way off the board earlier in the draft, a trade(s) took place and it changed the dynamic early on or any number of reasons.
Depending on the player, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland could use that to his advantage in terms of trade leverage in moving down and gaining additional picks to improve the depth of prospects in the organization. He could also see it as an opportunity to get a possible unexpected cornerstone player for years that was not originally in his plans.
Looking at different mocks it is important to look at spots 10-15 where players could fall. Sure players can fall that are projected to go higher but the biggest likelihood would be someone in that range. Again this is all hypothetical speculation on my part and not a suggestion any of these players will fall but as we know anything can happen on the draft floor.
Defense is a big need for the Red Wings now but what about for the future? You always need these players in your pipeline ready, developed and skilled.
Charles McAvoy from Boston University was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team is a player where mocks have him going in the 10-15 spot. He is more of an offensively skilled defenseman and could be someone that fits a future pairing nicely.
Russian defenseman Mikhail Sergachev from the Windsor Spitfires named the best defenseman in the OHL this past season is 6'2, 221 is projected to be one of the best defenseman in the draft and again generally projected in the 10-15 range depending on which mock you look at.
As for the forwards, Max Jones was the first player to come to mind when thinking about this topic a few weeks ago, as most mocks had him being selected before 16 however now after the combine, Jones seems to be falling past 16 into the 18-20 range. He is 6-2, 203 and helps the Red Wings fill a need in getting bigger up front. He's a proven winner and can score as well.
Center Michael McLeod from Mississauga is looking to be picked in the same 10-15 range as the above defenseman. At 6-2, 185 could being a good future 1-2 punch at center for Detroit with Dylan Larkin. In reading different mocks, scouts view him as a big strong centerman that can make an impact.
The last forward that comes to mind is is Clayton Keller, also a center who will be attending Boston University. He is projected in the 10-15 range as well in various mocks. A smaller 5-10, 163 but skilled player. He had 107 points with the USA U-18 team last season. Another player that can help the Red Wings deliver a good 1-2 punch at center in the future.
Again, if any of these players or any others projected to go before the Red Wings pick at 16 drop, Ken Holland would have to think twice about picking them or using it to get good value in a trade, unless his scouts have someone else in mind they feel would be better than the player that dropped.