As the 2017 NHL Entry Draft approaches, the Detroit Red Wings currently hold only one pick in the second round, number 38. If Ken Holland and the Red Wings do not make any moves to acquire another second round selection, drafting Ivan Lodnia of the Erie Otters at 38th overall would be a solid investment/move on the Red Wings’ part.
Name: Ivan Lodnia
Date of birth: 8/31/99
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
Weight: 182 lbs
NHL comparable: Tomas Tatar
ISS Hockey: #51
Future Considerations: #35
NHL CSS: #36 (North American Skaters)
The 2017 OHL Champion, Erie Otters, have an impressive and highly skilled roster of young offensive players. Ivan Lodnia, who played his youth hockey in Novi, MI, is one of those talented skaters. While Lodnia may not be one of Erie’s top-scorers, he is still a dynamic and intelligent junior hockey player who continues to develop and thrive when surrounded by players of equal or greater skill-sets.
Otter’s head coach, Kris Knoblauch, believes Lodnia has what it takes to be a player that can be depended on:
"When we started the year Ivan was kind of in a difficult position. We were a good team but he wasn't a go-to guy; he was a secondary player. But I feel he's got the talent to be a go-to player. We just didn't have regular linemates that complemented him. With the trades that we made, it solidified a role for him. Regular linemates who are skilled and can play at his level.
Much like his teammate in Erie, Alex DeBrincat, Lodnia is not the biggest guy on the ice, but uses his size to both his advantage and determination. Ivan grew one inch and added 11 pounds of weight prior to the 2016-17 OHL season, recognizing the need to grow both physically and mentally to compete at a higher level.
On and off of paper, Lodnia really does strike me as Tomas Tatar 2.0. Like Tatar, Ivan is similar in both stature and skill. He is a quick puck-protecting winger who likes to come off of the wing to crash the net and create scoring chances. Lodnia uses his impressive body strength to hold his ground along the outside and is not easily pushed off the puck, something Tatar struggles with at times.
Lodnia finished 52nd in scoring out of all OHL skaters and eighth on Erie last season with 24 goals, 33 assists, and a plus 21 rating. He cooled of a bit during the Otters championship run in the post season, but still notched two goals in 22 playoff games.
Video Courtesy of NHL Prospects
Ivan Lodnia definitely has the skills and drive to be a top-six winger in the NHL. If he is available at #38 when the Red Wings make their pick, I would not hesitate to pull the trigger. Lodnia has ties to Michigan as well as already being a teammate of a Red Wings prospect, Jordan Sambrook. Perhaps it’s a pipe dream, but I feel that Lodnia would benefit and thrive playing/learning alongside Tomas Tatar. Ivan is a skilled, quick, and intelligent winger who would provide Detroit with some scoring depth on the wing and down the road.