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Quick Hits: The Free Agent Forward Edition

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Carolina Hurricanes v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

In Red Wings Land

Detroit Red Wings’ offseason tasks include finding scoring forward

I clicked on this expecting to roll my eyes at the list, but I didn’t. I’ll be honest, I haven’t looked into it too much myself, but I do think that if Yzerman adds more players at forward through free agency, it will be players like the players on the list. I don’t see him making a big splash in the UFA market.

If you are interested in more about what to expect from Yzerman, we spent most of the last episode of WIIM Radio talking about that, along with special guest Alan from the Tampa Bay site, who provided tremendous insight into his tendencies there.

The order for the 2020 draft has yet to be determined, too, but under current lottery rules the Wings will pick no worse than fourth overall. Alexis Lafrenière, Tim Stützle and Quinton Byfield are projected as the top forwards, but even as hyped a talent as Jack Hughes, the No. 1 pick in 2019, contributed just 21 points in 61 games as a rookie for the New Jersey Devils. Kaapo Kakko, drafted behind Hughes, had 23 points in 66 games for the New York Rangers.

If Yzerman chooses to use free agency to add a forward with some scoring power, here are options that could fit under a shorter-term, circa $4 million or less annual range.

Around the NHL

2012 NHL Redraft: Five goalies selected in top 10

Every NHL draft is different. In some, the top pick is a bonafide NHL superstar. In others, he wouldn’t even make the first round of a re-draft (even though that’s pretty unlikely, it obviously does happen).

Just something to keep in mind as we (maybe) get closer to this year’s NHL draft. You still wouldn’t talk me into taking a goalie in the first round, unless I had multiple first round picks and/or a packed skater prospect pool.

Noteworthy is that forward Nail Yakupov, taken with the No. 1 pick by the Edmonton Oilers in 2012, and defenseman Ryan Murray, the No. 2 pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets, were not selected. Yakupov had 136 points (62 goals, 74 assists) in 350 games from 2012-18 for the Oilers, St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche before returning to Russia to play in the Kontinental Hockey League. Murray has 110 points (15 goals, 95 assists) in 347 games for the Blue Jackets.

Who else would move up? Who else would drop? Thirty NHL.com staffers, using the draft order and class from 2012, and selected in random order, have answered those questions. Here are the results. For reference, here is how the original draft went.

Bonus!

Yesterday was the first ever ISOL-HAC, a complete hockey analytics conference conducted remotely.

The topics are listed in the image attached to this tweet:

You can watch every presentation at the ISOL-HAC website by clicking on the Watch option at the top. The tutorial option links to the tutorials on using R and Tableau to create visualizations, like the ones you’ve seen in my articles.