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2016 NHL Draft Primer: Red Wings picks, strategies, trade possibilities, and more

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2016 NHL Draft Top Prospects - Media Availability Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

With the 2016 NHL Draft just hours away, it’s time to look at the big picture for the Red Wings going into the first round and beyond. Where will they pick? Who are they going to draft? Will they make any trades?

Draft day is always an exciting time for the NHL, so let’s get down to it!

Where they will pick

Here’s a breakdown of where the Red Wings will pick in the draft order:

  • 1st round - 16th overall
  • 2nd round - 46th overall
  • 3rd round - 77th overall (Traded to New Jersey)
  • 4th round - 107th overall
  • 5th round - 137th overall
  • 6th round - 167th overall
  • 7th round - 197th overall

Who they could take at 16th overall

If you missed it, we did a series of player profiles that the Red Wings could very likely take in the first and second round. You can find that here: 2016 NHL Draft Coverage

Forwards

There’s a ton of them. On top of my list are players like Mikey McLeod, and German Rubstov. I took Rubtsov in the SB Nation Mock Draft. He’s a fantastic prospect. I feel that if the Red Wings are going with a forward in the first round, it should be a center. With power-wing prospects like Anthony Mantha and Evgeny Svechnikov waiting in the rankings, it’s time to go after another big-time center.

Defense

The popular choice among Red Wings fans, for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, the Red Wings need help on defense now, and it is highly unlikely that they will find that at 16th overall. It sound as if Jake Bean could fall right into their wheelhouse, and I think that would be a fantastic pick. It’s not certain, but Jakob Chychrun’s draft stock keeps falling. I doubt he falls to 16th, but it would be interesting if he fell far enough to where the Wings could possibly trade up.

There are also some defenders that will be available in the second round that could be great NHL players some day: Ryan Lindgren, Sean Day, Kale Clague, Cam Dineen, or Libor Hajek. So if they don’t take a defenseman in the first round, don’t panic. There will be great names available at 46th overall.

Goalies

Nope. Not this year.

Trade possibilities

Of course, there is always the possibility of trading down in the first round. There are a few teams with multiple first-round picks that could make a lot of sense. This would bring the Red Wings an extra 2nd, or even a 3rd round pick that could add a lot of value to their 2016 class of prospects.

Teams with multiple picks in the first round:

  • Arizona Coyotes (7th overall, 20th overall)
  • Winnipeg Jets (2nd overall, 22nd overall)
  • Carolina Hurricanes (13th overall, 21st overall)
  • Anaheim Ducks (24th overall, 30th overall)
  • Boston Bruins (14th overall, 29th overall)

Don’t quote me on this, because it’s just speculation and partial gut-feeling - The first three teams teams on that list are all possible landing spots for Pavel Datsyuk’s contract. We could definitely see 16th overall moved with the contract, and a roster player (Tomas Jurco, Teemu Pulkkinen) to move the $7.5 million cap hit without losing a pick in the first round. This would be far more palatable than trading one of the two aforementioned roster players along with Detroit’s 2nd-round pick.

Out side of that, the Red Wings could also move down a few picks in the first round and pick up a late 2nd, or 3rd round pick (they don’t have one of those this year). When they acquired Dylan Sadowy, they added a very good prospect that would have re-entered this Draft cycle as a possible 1st/2nd round pick. I think the possibility of trading down is extremely likely.

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It sounds as if it’s going to be a very active draft for multiple NHL teams, so make sure you tune in. We’ll have full coverage here, and on other sites across SB Nation NHL.