Now that Steve Yzerman’s first draft as Red Wings GM is in the books, it’s clear what his top priority is as he begins building his team — defense was an absolute focus for the Red Wings in the 2019 NHL Draft. Here’s a look at who we drafted:
- No. 6: Moritz Seider (D)
- No. 35: Antti Tuomisto (D)
- No. 54: Robert Mastrosimone (F)
- No. 60: Albert Johansson (D)
- No. 66: Albin Grewe (F)
- No. 97: Ethan Phillips (F)
- No. 128: Cooper Moore (D)
- No. 159: Elmer Soderblom (F)
- No. 177: Gustav Berglund (D)
- No. 190: Kirill Tyutyayev (F)
- No. 191: Carter Gylander (G)
At first, it appeared that Steve Yzerman was taking the bold path of drafting defense early on in a class where the position is particularly weak. As the Draft dragged along, he threw in a forward every now and then. While this Draft seems to be so focused on rebuilding the defense, Yzerman’s haul with forwards is nothing short of impressive.
The Seider pick at face value is a generous reach, but when you look closely at each defenseman they took in the draft, there are similarities. Each one is lauded for skating ability, and it doesn’t appear that Yzerman focused in on certain attributes such as size. What he added were five mobile defensemen who will be project players — Give them three or four years before they see the NHL. My sleeper pick among the defensive haul is Cooper Moore (pick no. 128). A gifted athlete, a top-scorer in a competitive high school conference, and committed to one of the NCAA’s best developmental programs in North Dakota. We could be hearing his name a lot in the future.
Really, though, I think the Red Wings’ crown jewel of the 2019 NHL Draft is the haul on offense. They didn’t gamble on any forwards, they made good picks with each one — again, not focusing in on size, but fleet-footed players who all appear to have a scoring touch. In all, they took five forwards. I’m absolutely head-over-heels for Albin Grewe. He reminds me of how Tyler Bertuzzi plays now, but still a teenager. We’re going to keep a very close eye on his next couple of years in Sweden.
Outside of the two players I just talked about, here are my sleeper picks for the Red Wings:
- Kirill Tyutyayev (190th): Point-per-game, top-10 scorer in Russia’s MHL. Small as all get-out, but a speedy playmaker with a high ceiling. I’ve heard Yzerman has had good luck with Russian players.
- Elmer Soderblom (159th): One of many picks out of Sweden for the Red Wings, I’m going to go against my own opinions and say this is a good pick because this guy is the size of a linebacker. 6-foot-7 200+ lbs, and the numbers look good in the SuperElit with Frolunda.
It was an underwhelming 1st draft for Steve Yzerman from a fan’s perspective, but it’s not difficult to see that he has a plan in place. The team took five forwards, five defensemen, and a goalie with their 11 picks. The defensemen they took appear to be high-ceiling, project prospects, the forwards appear to be the same. Simply put, Yzerman isn’t rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, he’s trying to fix the sinking ship. An interesting note: the Red Wings did not draft a player out of the CHL.
I give this Draft a B, J.J. also gave it a B, while Peter and Prashanth gave it a B-.
What do you grade the Red Wings 2019 NHL Draft?
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