After swinging for the highest of upside players in big and mobile defenseman Simon Edvinsson and highly touted mammoth goaltender Sebastian Cossa last night, Yzerman and his group had lots of talent still to choose from left on the board after last night. They obviously thought so too when they traded up 3 spots with Vegas to get their guy. In exchange Detroit gave up their 38th overall pick and 4th round pick, 128th overall.
With the newly acquired 36th overall, Detroit was anxious to select Shai Buium. Here’s what we know about him:
Date of Birth: March 26, 2003
Place of Birth: San Diego, CA
Weight: 209 lbs
Nation: United States
Team: Sioux City (USHL)
In Bob McKenzie’s annual draft rankings which are always a good gauge of how teams around the league view these prospects, he had Buium listed at 49. The Athletic had him as the 14th best remaining prospect coming into the day. So a bit of a reach, especially considering the team traded up to get him. They must really like him, but hard to believe he wouldn’t be there three picks later.
Buium fits what the Wings have been looking at recently, a large defenseman with skill. But the knock on him appears to be his skating. He’s set for one more season in the USHL before going to the University of Denver, so we won’t see him for awhile it would seem. Here’s what scouts and outlets have said about him:
Buium is a big defenseman with a high skill level. He has the stickhandling ability and creativity to inside-out checkers often off the rush or by making attacks off the offensive blue line. He has decent offensive instincts as a playmaker to find seams and make a first pass, although that aspect can be inconsistent in his game. Buium’s skating is a concern, though, as he will struggle with the pro pace due to his inability to escape pressure and play fast. He has a good defensive stick and hockey sense but due to the skating, I don’t see him as a top defender versus pros. In a sentence, Buium projects as a third-pair NHL defenseman with the potential to play higher in the lineup. - Corey Pronman, The Athletic
Buium’s 6-foot-3, 214-pound frame is built for the NHL. Except size isn’t the only thing scouts are drooling over when they watch him play. He also has exceptional hockey IQ, mobility, and an uncanny ability to transition the puck from defence to offence in short order. That’s a combination you don’t see every day, especially from a 6-foot-3, 214-pound defenceman.. -Matthew Zator, The Hockey Writers
Buium is a solid two-way player and is as effective at moving the puck as he is defending center ice in his own zone. Positionally, he is really solid, pinching and sliding back as the time calls. The big defender possesses some surprisingly soft hands with the puck and shows a solid ability to be a good puck mover on the back end. His best asset is his vision and passing ability. - Future Considerations
Here’s a shift by shift viewing of him from a game in April, if you’re looking for something beyond highlights:
The Detroit social media team was quick to welcome the latest selection to the family:
Buium was born on the sixth anniversary of Fight Night at the Joe— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) July 24, 2021
Keep checking for updates here as the day two of the draft always flies back and the picks will be coming in quickly. We’ll have updates on all the Wings picks to get you acquainted with the newest additions.