Seldom do I believe that trading up in the draft is worth it. When you think “trading up” you’re probably thinking about doing so in the first-round to bring a big-name prospect to your organization. In this salary cap climate the NHL has, draft picks are at an absolute premium. Young prospects can be signed to entry-level contracts that are extremely team-friendly, providing affordable depth (this is also a concept the Red Wings appear to ignore). This makes moving up to higher draft picks expensive, which is why I don’t exactly endorse this tactic. Back in 2014, the Red Wings elected to trade up in the third round from 76th overall to 63rd overall. The premium for moving up was the 76th overall pick, and an additional third-round pick in 2015. A big price to pay, but the team would not have made the move if they didn’t see something special available. With that pick, they took center Dominic Turgeon. A two-way “shutdown” player who has done nothing but improve every season he’s spent in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks.
Born: February 25, 1996
Weight: 196 lbs
Since his first season with Portland in 2012, Turgeon has made strides in his development across the chart. He was used mainly as a shutdown-type center, with little opportunity to put up big points. Despite that, the six-foot-two forward from Cherry Hill, Colorado found offensive consistency, steadily increasing his production each year. In the 2015-2016 season, Turgeon broke out of his shell and led the Winterhawks in scoring with 36 goals, and 34 assists.
Turgeon comes from an elite hockey bloodline. His father, Pierre Turgeon, was a four-time NHL all-star who amassed 1,327 points in 1,294 games. While Dominic doesn’t project to be that type of prolific offensive force, his upside slates him as a middle-six center that can play in all situations.
Turgeon is an interesting case for the Red Wings as he is eligible to return to the WHL as an “over-ager” which falls under the CHL/NHL agreement. His fate for next season has yet to be decided, but I’d like to think that the Red Wings would be very motivated to get his pro-hockey development underway. All-in-all, Turgeon appears to be a true “Red Wings model” type of player -- He has great hockey IQ, and plays a strong defensive game. He might not light it up on the scoreboard in the pros, but he’ll certainly go head-to-head with tough competition, and act as a utility knife.
Dominic Turgeon, in my opinion, is an extremely underrated prospect. He has all of the bells & whistles that you can’t teach through development, and has that one thing that even though we all hate to read it, it means something -- The kid is a leader. He was a part of Portland’s captaincy for two seasons, and his development as a player goes to show that he’s working to become a better player. Keep an eye out for this guy, he’s one of the Red Wings’ many young studs.