Welcome back to my 31 in 31 top ten prospect series.
Yesterday, we took a look at the Dallas Stars’ farm system and analyzed the best of the youth looking to eventually represent them, featuring a forward-heavy core headlined by Jason Robertson, Ty Dellandrea, and Roope Hintz. Today, we’re going to head to Mo-Town and check out the other “D” team, the Detroit Red Wings. Without further ado, let’s have a look.
1. Filip Zadina (LW, 1st Round, 6th Overall in 2018)
The selection of Filip Zadina was easily an unexpected one by the Red Wings. While every mock draft had him pegged as a top three selection, he found himself taken after the likes of Jesperi Kotkaniemi (MTL), Brady Tkachuk (OTT), and Barrett Hayton (ARI). The slick Czech forward has started this season with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins where he’s put up 15 points in 23 games thus far. Zadina will look to develop into a first line winger for the Wings and live up to his promise of filling the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators’ nets with pucks for passing on him.
2. Joe Veleno (C, 1st Round, 30th Overall in 2018)
Is it safe to say the Red Wings look like they had a good draft in 2018? Veleno was initially supposed to go much earlier in the first round but once again, was scooped up by the Red Wings when he dropped to 30th overall. Veleno is currently off to an incredible start with 54 points in 28 games for the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL and a surefire shot to play a top six role for Team Canada at the World Juniors.
3. Filip Hronek (D, 2nd Round, 53rd Overall in 2016)
Hronek started the season in the NHL and had a solid start with three points in six games, but has since been sent to the AHL and has been lighting it up ever since. The 6’0 Czech defenseman has 17 points in 19 games and looks like he’s going to be a very solid defenseman for the Wings in the future.
4. Evgeni Svechnikov (RW, 1st Round, 19th Overall in 2015)
Svechnikov has been progressing slowly ever since his draft year but he still has the tools to be a very effective player for the Red Wings in the future. The 6’3 Russian winger unfortunately hasn’t played a single game this season, sitting out the whole season with an injury.
5. Jared McIsaac (D, 2nd Round, 36th Overall in 2018)
After a very solid draft year with the Halifax Mooseheads, McIsaac has improved his game even more this season. He’s started off the season with 22 points in 23 games and, like Veleno, will more than likely represent Canada at the World Juniors.
6. Jonatan Berggren (LW, 2nd Round, 33rd Overall in 2018)
Berggren was drafted just three picks before McIsaac, making for a solid pair of second round selections this past season. He’s playing for Skelleftea AIK of the SHL this season and while he only has three points in 16 games, he’s only 18, meaning he has lots of time to develop overseas and hone his skills before the Red Wings consider him for a roster spot.
7. Gustav Lindstrom (D, 2nd Round, 38th Overall in 2017)
A Swedish defenseman who was somewhat unheard of when drafted, Lindstrom has began to find his game and is off to a pretty decent start with Frolunda HC of the SHL, posting four points in 24 games. The Ostervala native is right-handed and has good size at 6’2, so he likely has a good chance to get a second look from the Red Wings.
8. Vili Saarijarvi (D, 3rd Round, 73rd Overall in 2015)
Saarijarvi is a pure Finnish defenseman but he’s no stranger to North American Hockey. Drafted out of the USHL, playing his post draft seasons in the OHL, and now playing in the AHL, Saarijarvi knows his way around North American ice. The undersized defenseman has seven points in 25 games.
9. Joe Hicketts (D, Undrafted, Signed in 2014)
Primarily making a name for himself with the Victoria Royals and as a member of the 2015 Canadian World Juniors team, Hicketts is consistently trying to make a name for himself in the Red Wings organization. The reason he went undrafted is likely due to his size, as he stands at only 5’8, but he’s managed to put up decent points and already has some NHL games under his belt.
10. Dominic Turgeon (C, 3rd Round, 63rd Overall in 2014)
Turgeon is currently in the middle of his third AHL season and is off to a decent start with nine points in 25 games. It’s unknown where his performance could land him in the future, but if he keeps developing his game and rounding out the edges then he could find himself a job as a bottom six centre at the NHL level.
Thanks for reading! Tune in next time where we’ll look at the forever-growing Edmonton Oilers farm system.
stats from eliteprospects.com
featured image photo credit – Josh Tessler