When the Red Wings selected Michael Rasmussen at 9th overall, it was clear what they were going for. The team has always had a general interest in young players with size, but this year seemed to be at a completely different level.
The Wings drafted 11 players, one of which was shorter than six-feet-tall. For most of the Draft, the team went off the list, drafting players that were either forecasted in later rounds, or not ranked at all. One pick that sticks out to me is 2nd-rounder Gustav Lindstrom — many didn’t see him getting drafted until the 3rd or 4th round. Now, I give the Red Wings the benefit of the doubt here because they have a Swedish scout that is second-to-none in Hakan Andersson. Still, it seems odd to skip out on obvious 1st-round talent that was available at 38 like Jason Robinson.
The one thing we did know going into the draft is that the Red Wings would likely take a goalie at some point. In my opinion, getting Keith Petruzzelli at 88th overall was a steal, and likely the team’s best pick of the entire event. He’s built like a prototypical modern-era goalie who displays great athleticism.
One of the most interesting picks, in my opinion, is Jack Adams, the winger who led the USHL in goal-scoring with the Fargo Force. Adams was an over-ager, so he enjoyed dominance in his league. Still, 37 goals is always eye-opening, especially with a six-foot-five frame. We’ll see how he pans out, he’ll move along to Union College where he’ll likely spend three or four years playing. I think taking him at 162nd was a good call, because you can gamble those picks on players like that.
All-in-all, the Red Wings had an extremely underwhelming weekend in Chicago. They kept all of their picks, which is probably smart, but didn’t make many fireworks with their selections. We’ll see how Rasmussen pans out over the next year, and the rest of the prospects will likely be long-term projects. It’s tough for me to give Ken Holland and Tyler Wright a good grade this time around. The way players fell down the rankings, they could have easily achieved an A+.
All that being said, at this moment, I’m giving the Red Wings 2017 draft haul a D+.