Detroit Red Wings’ director of amateur scouting, Tyler Wright, gave a telling interview to the team’s official website earlier this week. In the aforementioned interview Wright discussed the importance of instilling the Red Wing culture in the team’s prospect pool as well as revealing Detroit’s game plan heading into the 2018 NHL Draft:
"I'm actually thinking about what we have to draft next year. We're going to get a little bit more of an emphasis on higher-end skill, maybe get a little bit riskier in the forward position," Wright said. "We wanted to address it. We addressed defense this year because we deemed as a staff to be a fairly deep defense draft.
Wright added that it is the Wings’ plan to acquire skilled goal-scorers to compliment this year’s big bodied/defensive selections:
"Next year we got to add some skill set guys that are going to be able to work the half-wall on the power play, guys that are going to be the pure goal scorers. When you take a little bit more of a calculated risk, you got to give something up sometimes.
While conducting “themed drafts” may be a bit unsettling for some fans in Hockeytown, it certainly appears that Wright, along with the rest of the Detroit organization, are set on seeing their strategy through.
The 2018 NHL Entry Draft will certainly feature some exceptional first-round talent, especially at the forward positions. Many early expert predictions have Andrei Svechnikov, brother of Red Wings’ prospect, Evgeny Svechnikov, making a case to be the first overall pick. While the likelihood of the Red Wings acquiring the first-overall pick to reunite the Svechnikov brothers in Detroit may be a pipedream at this point, it’s certainly not out of the realm of impossibility.
Some other notable forwards who may peak Detroit’s interest in the first-round are Brady Tkachuk (C/LW) and Anderson MacDonald (LW). Both MacDonald and Tkachuk, brother of the Calgary Flames’ Matthew Tkachuk, are highly skilled players who measure in at over six-feet-tall and two hundred pounds.
Again, it is still much too early to connect the Red Wings with any draft-eligible names in 2018, but that doesn’t mean that the powers that be in Detroit haven’t already started doing their homework. However, it is most certainly within the realm of possibility that the Wings could struggle in 2017-18 and in return net a top ten draft pick for a consecutive year.
Tyler Wright’s revelation of wanting to acquire young, skilled, goal-scorers in 2018 comes with a bit of irony considering the recent arbitration developments with Tomas Tatar, one of Detroit’s top goal-scorers over the last several seasons. On the flipside, if Tatar does sign a one-year deal with the Wings and subsequently chooses to seek employment elsewhere, Ken Holland could possibly ship Tatar to possibly improve Detroit’s draft chances next summer.