The Detroit Red Wings have nine selections heading into Saturday’s NHL entry draft in St. Paul, Minn.
The Red Wings, who traded their 24th overall pick to the Ottawa Senators on Friday in exchange for second-round picks at No. 35 and 48, get things started at 35th overall.
This page will be updated throughout the day with a first glance at Detroit’s picks. Later this weekend and next week, we will profile each pick in greater detail.
DETROIT RED WINGS 2011 DRAFT CHOICES
2-35. RW Tomas Jurco, 6-2, 187, Saint John (QMJHL), 60-31-25-56-17, plus-46
RANKING: 20 NA (CS), 25 (ISS), 29th (TSN), 28 (THN)
Nicknamed “Tommy Toe Drag” by some observers, the 6-foot-2, 193-pound Slovak won a Memorial Cup with Saint John and is loaded with individual skill. There is extremely high upside in Jurco, who has solid size, speed and makes highlight reels with his slick moves. But he was a second-rounder because of his inconsistency and perimeter play. The Red Wings are no doubt hoping for a breakthrough from a player who TSN describes as having “top-10 skills.” [ Video ]
2-48. D Xavier Ouellet, 6-0, 174, Montreal (QMJHL), 67-8-35-43-44, plus-27
RANKING: 60 NA (CS), 48 (ISS), 66 (THN), 57 (TSN)
Playing on the same second-place QMJHL team as Red Wings prospects Louis-Marc Aubry and Trevor Parkes, Ouellet logged a ton of ice time and is a solid, steady defender who can play even strength, penalty kill and power play. He’s not big or a bruiser, nor will he wow you on first glance, but is already a coach’s dream at the QMJHL level.
2-55. D Ryan Sproul, 6-3, 185, Sault Ste-Marie (OHL), 61-14-19-33, minus-15
RANKING: 54 NA (CS), 60 (ISS), 48 (TSN)
The six-foot-three Sproul used his booming shot to score 14 goals overall, including eight on the power play. He boasts obvious size and has good offensive upside, but question marks surround his foot-speed, physicality and decision-making. Sproul might have higher upside than Xavier Ouellet, but is a riskier pick and more of a project. [ Sault Star ] [ TheSportsNetwork.com ]
3-85. C Alan Quine, 5-11, 184, Peterborough (OHL), 69-26-27-53-8, minus-36
RANKING: 72 NA (CS), 62 (THN)
Buried 13 goals on the power play as part of a 53-point season while splitting the season between Kingston and Peterborough. Central Scouting describes him as a “high-energy, two-way guy” who has a “very good skill set” and is a “dynamic skater.” [ NHL.com ]
4-115. RW Marek Tvrdon, 6-2, 210, Vancouver (WHL), 12-6-5-11-14
Tvrdon is a risky pick after playing just 12 games at the start of the season before going under the knife for shoulder surgery. But he’s a big, strong, power-forward type who can score — he had 56 points in 45 games at the Slovak under-20 level in 2009-10 — and could be a home-run pick if the Red Wings’ under-age scouting is up to snuff. [ Red Line Report ]
5-145. RW Philippe Hudon, 6-0, 197, Choate-Rosemary (U.S. prep), 22-10-10-20-44
RANKING: 74 NA (CS)
Hudon was one of the top prospects for the QMJHL draft in 2009 but has a lower profile because of his intent to play NCAA at Cornell. Playing prep-school hockey in Connecticut, Hudon enjoyed a productive year and has shown excellent potential as a two-way forward. [ The Hockey News ]
5-146. D Mattias Backman, 6-2, 169, Linkoping (SWE-J20), 27-2-18-20-34.
RANKING: 39 EUR (CS)
Backman was one of the top-scoring defensemen at the Swedish under-20 SuperElit level and also has 11 games experience in the Swedish Elite League. He has a reputation as a mobile, two-way defenseman who can move the puck. [ NHL.com ]
6-175. D Richard Nedomlel, 6-4, 204, Swift Current (WHL), 66-0-10-10-107, minus-15
RANKING: 205 NA (CS)
His offensive numbers hardly jump off the page, but Nedomlel — who hails from the Czech Republic — has tremendous size and a mean streak to match. He dropped the gloves seven times in the WHL last season and projects as a rugged, stay-at-home type, if he can round out his game. [ Broncos Blog ]
7-205. D Alexey Marchenko, 6-2, 183, CSKA (KHL), 23-0-2-2-4
RANKING: 25 EU (CS)
The Red Wings made Marchenko their first Russian draft choice since Gennady Stolyarov in 2004. Passed over in the 2010 draft, Marchenko — a rare right-shooting blueliner, at least for the Red Wings — is mobile and has put up at good offensive numbers at the junior level. [ Interview ] [ ESPN ]
Complete profiles and feature stories to follow over the next few days!