The 2021 NHL Draft kicks off tonight; Here’s where the Detroit Red Wings stand

Steve Yzerman currently holds two picks in the 1st round of the 2021 NHL Draft

Tonight’s the night that so many NHL fans have been waiting for — the 2021 NHL Draft will kick off tonight from the NHL Network Studios in Secaucus, New Jersey. Steve Yzerman currently holds two picks in the 1st round, which could shape up to be a turning point for his rebuild. The Red Wings will pick 6th overall, and 23rd overall.

How to Watch Round 1

  • Date: Friday, July 23
  • Time: 8 pm ET
  • TV channel (USA): ESPN2
  • TV channel (Canada): Sportsnet, SN NOW, TVA Sports/

First — let’s not forget that Arizona Coyotes have to forfeit their 1st round pick as part of disciplinary action from the NHL, so basically the Washington pick, which was acquired in the Anthony Mantha trade, will slate in at 22.  Here’s the complete order:

  1. Buffalo Sabres
  2. Seattle Kraken
  3. Anaheim Ducks
  4. New Jersey Devils
  5. Columbus Blue Jackets
  6. Detroit Red Wings
  7. San Jose Sharks
  8. Los Angeles Kings
  9. Vancouver Canucks
  10. Ottawa Senators
  12. Chicago Blackhawks
  13. Calgary Flames
  14. Philadelphia Flyers
  15. Dallas Stars
  16. New York Rangers
  17. St. Louis Blues
  18. Winnipeg Jets
  19. Nashville Predators
  20. Edmonton Oilers
  21. Boston Bruins
  22. Minnesota Wild
  23. Detroit Red Wings (Acquired from Washington)
  24. Florida Panthers
  25. Columbus Blue Jackets (Acquired from Toronto)
  26. Minnesota Wild (Acquired from Pittsburgh)
  27. Carolina Hurricanes
  28. Colorado Avalanche
  29. New Jersey Devils (Acquired from NYI)
  30. Vegas Golden Knights
  31. Montreal Canadiens
  32. Columbus Blue Jackets (From Tampa Bay)

Detroit could go a few different ways with this draft. Now, keep in mind, this class is probably one of the weakest drafts we’ve seen in some time. Maybe there’s potential for Steve Yzerman to move picks around to get the players he wants on his team. We’ve seen that recently with the Nick Leddy and Alex Nedeljkovic trades. Speaking of which, these two trades kind of set the stage for Steve Yzerman and the 2021 NHL Draft. Maybe the trades mean nothing since drafting is such a big-picture building block. With our mock draft, we have Detroit taking a center at 6, trading back the Washington pick to Vegas and acquiring more picks, and in the end we took another center with the 30th pick.

Red Wings select Mason McTavish with no. 6 pick

Red Wings trade pick no. 23 to Vegas, acquires pick no. 30, pick no. 36, and a 2022 1st round pick

Red Wings select Zach Dean with no. 30 pick

A lot of mock drafts have the Red Wings taking top goaltender Jesper Wallstedt at 6th overall, and maybe that’s still very possible, but I think with the addition of Nedeljkovic, Yzerman may feel a little more comfortable with his cupboard of younger, developing goalies. That takes us to the next greatest position of need, which is center. Mason McTavish has been the pick for a lot of mock drafts at 6th overall, but you also see some that have William Eklund slipping down, which would be a big win for Detroit, as man believe Eklund is the most talented player in this somewhat top-heavy draft class.

Detroit has also been linked to some defensemen.. If for some reason a guy like Luke Hughes (brother of Jack and Quinn, and easily the best skater out of all of them), Detroit would be silly to pass on a prospect like him. There’s also big Swedish defender Simon Edvinsson, who is another mobile puck-mover who already has a frame fit for the NHL.

If I’m a betting man, my money is on the Red Wings selecting a center, but as we all know by now, Steve Yzerman has his own plan and he’s sticking to it. His draft mantra has been more picks, and best player available in his book. As we’ve seen in past drafts, his definition of “best player available” can vastly differ than the rest of ours, but with the meteoric rise of players like Moritz Seider, it’s tough to question his approach.

We’ll have all the picks and news coming out of the 1st round tonight, and the same for rounds 2-7 tomorrow. That kicks off tomorrow at 11am ET on NHL Network.