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Pick-by-pick: Red Wings at the NHL draft

Published Friday, June 27, 2014, 9:05 p.m. under 2014 Draft Coverage
Dylan Larkin

Dylan Larkin (Credit: usantdp.com)

The Detroit Red Wings looked to their own back yard when they made their highest draft choice in 23 years on Friday night in Philadelphia.

The Red Wings selected University of Michigan-bound forward Dylan Larkin from Waterford, Mich., with the 15th overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft, making him their highest choice since Martin Lapointe went 10th in 1991.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound center/winger finished fourth in scoring on the U.S. development program’s under-18 team this past season, notching 31 goals and 25 assists for 56 points in 60 games. He won gold as a second-line center with Team USA at the IIHF world under-18 championship in April.

“Think of Darren Helm but better scoring ability,” said TSN scout Craig Button. “He’s got that type of disruptive speed. He comes at you defensively. He comes at you offensively. He played (hurt) at the (world) U-18 tournament where USA won gold and he just kept playing through it. He’s got guts, lots of skill, lots of speed.”

Larkin was rated 17th among North Americans by Central Scouting, 14th overall by The Hockey News and 12th by Bob McKenzie of TSN.ca.

“I love Dylan Larkin,” one scout told The Hockey News. “Guaranteed player, heart-and-soul kid. He’ll wear a letter on his jersey some day. Plays with pace and he’s a powerful skater. You might only get a third-liner, but his work ethic is great. NHL coaches are going to love him.”

Button, however, highlighted Larkin’s offense: “You can play defense but they don’t tell you not to score — and Dylan Larkin scores.”

Following is a breakdown of Detroit’s selections. RWC will have pick-by-pick features at the conclusion of the draft as well as individual prospect profiles.

1-15. C Dylan Larkin, 6-1, 190, 60-31-25-56-56, U.S. under-18 team (USHL). See above.

3-63. C Dominic Turgeon, 6-2, 196, 65-10-21-31-31, Portland (WHL). The Red Wings traded pick No. 75 and a 2015 third-rounder to get the No. 63 overall pick used on Turgeron. Although his father, Pierre, scored more than 1,300 points in the NHL, Turgeon — who posted modest numbers with WHL powerhouse Portland — projects as more of a third-line center with tremendous hockey sense. His skating needs to improve.

“I put him in a David Legwand (class) of player,” said NHL Network analyst Dave Reid. “He’s got the smarts, he’s got the ability, but he’s not overly talented with the finish. It’s a matter of getting his feet moving. He’s probably suited for that third-line role.”

Added TSN scout Craig Button: “He’s not like his father. He’s more of a big, get-in-your-way type of centerman. He’s not an elite offensive player, but he’s a good, strong player.”

4-106. C Christoffer Ehn, 6-3, 181, 45-4-7-11-14, Frolunda (Swe-J20). Checking in at 6-foot-3 and 181 pounds, Ehn has excellent size and is a defensive-minded center. His numbers at the Swedish J-20 SuperElit level certainly don’t jump off the page, but he showed enough maturity to appear in two Swedish Hockey League games for Frolunda and he represented Sweden at the IIHF world under-18 championship in May, playing a depth role in a fourth-place finish. Central Scouting ranked him 89th among European skaters.

5-136. G Chase Perry, 6-2, 175, 15-12-6, 2.34 GAA, .905 Sv%, Wenatchee (NAHL). A rare pick out of the NAHL, Perry went 15-12-6 with three shutouts, a 2.34 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage with Wenatchee. He was ranked fourth among North American goaltenders at mid-season before dropping to eighth on the final list. Perry will play at the NCAA level at Colorado College starting next season, so he projects to add depth to the goaltending pipeline when he eventually turns pro three or four years down the road.

6-166. C Julius Vahatalo, 6-5, 191, 18-3-0-3-0, TPS Turku (FIN). Passed over in the 2013 draft, Vahatalo put injury problems behind him and posted big numbers at the Finnish Jr. A level — 18 goals among 39 points in 33 games — before graduating to the SM-Liiga level and scoring three times in 18 games. He showed good offensive skill at the junior level and instantly becomes one of the Red Wings’ biggest prospects.

7-196. C Axel Holmstrom, 6-0, 198, 33-15-23-38-12, Skelleftea (SWE-J20). Holmstrom ripped it up at the J-20 SuperElit level, recording 38 points in 33 games, and played four games at the Swedish Hockey League level with Skelleftea. He followed that up with an 11-point showing for the fourth-place Swedes at the IIHF world under-18 championship in April, leading the tournament with a plus-8 rating as a linemate of first-round pick William Nylander. He has no known relation to Tomas Holmstrom.

7-201. C Alexander Kadeykin, 6-3, 213, 54-8-15-23-24, plus-17, Mytischi (KHL). Passed over in the 2012 and 2013 drafts, Kadeykin already has a man’s frame at 20 years old and led his KHL team in scoring as a rookie. A good two-way center who works hard, Kadeykin is expected to play one more year in Russia before coming to North America.

25 Comments
  1. Rico says:

    Centers over 6 feet tall. Does not seem like a Detroit draf, but I think it makes sense. I’m not going to say I have a clue who these guys are or if I like the picks, but it seems odd to see no players at 5’10″. The “every other year goalie pick” is classic wings then mix in a (super tall) Fin.

    I would ask a question about the trade(s). First, Holland got fleeced by Nashville- a second, a top prospect, and Eaves for a guy we don’t want (Legwand). Next Holland gave up a 2 thirds for third. Seems like to steep deals vs. x-division foes. Kenny- I hope this one works out.

  2. Dale says:

    To all of you who are negative out there: we just got 7 new players into the organization . Some will make it some won’t. If we get two players out of this draft it will be a decent draft. More and it’s terrific. Who those 2 or more players will be, no one knows at this juncture. My point is we have a great organization who have drafted many good and a few great players. it is the envy of most hockey fans. Forget Calle Jankrock. Get over it. Quit complaining and be positive or pull for the Leafs and have something really to complain about.

  3. Portland says:

    I live in Portland, and I have had the chance to see Turgeon play quite a bit. It’s cool to see him get picked up by the Wings. He’s a hard worker. Not sure that I would’ve used two third-rounders on him, but he’s a fun guy to watch.

  4. dan says:

    Holland needs to step up and aquire a top 4 right handed defenceman and a top 6 right handed forward, Dan boyle and matt niskanen would be good, should have went for ryan kesler, from Michigan, shoots right, former 40 goal scorer and selke winner, one of the fastest skaters in the league, he would have brought the wings back among the elite teams in the league

  5. John P says:

    The Wings are the smallest team in the NHL and they are also the least physical. Instead of Larkin they should have taken the higher rated Alex Tuck. Tuck is a big, physical, right shooting power forward (6’4″ 213 RW/C), but much like Weiss and Legwand the Wings were blinded by the fact that Larkin was a Michigan native. Hometown stories are nice but it’s not the best way to build a team.

    As far as the rest of the draft I have to wonder if these players from Sweden are always the best players available when the Wings pick. I know they have great scouts in Sweden but there has to be North American players that are being missed with the seemingly constant emphasis on Swedish and European players.

  6. Jack says:

    I like the Larkin pick, his reports remind me of Sheahan, except maybe a bit more offense and obviously his character is an asset. Besides that, I think these are good picks. A lot of big players with good upside… Some could be 3rd or even 2nd liners but they are big, good defensively and even if they don’t turn into top 6 guys, our bottom 6 is going to be huge. Most of the guys we drafted the past two years are 6’2″ or bigger.

  7. Luke says:

    Since the Wings management team lost Scottie Bowman, Yzerman, Jim Nill, Ilitch, some top scouts, etc. a lot of their player personnel decisions have been questionable.

    Now to this years draft, I have to agree with the earlier comment that the Wings made a mistake by not taking Alex Tuch. A big, physical, power forward with skill is exactly what the Wings have needed for years and to pass him up for Larkin, a player they could have gotten later in the 1st round, is a huge mistake. It reminds me of the Wings picking Emmerton over Lucic in 2006. Big power forwards with skill are like the top defenseman, they are almost impossible to trade for or get in free agency, so if you have a chance to grab one you have to do it. The trade the Wings made to pick Dominic Turgeon is also very hard to justify. They gave up two 3rd round picks for Turgeon, a player who was ranked to go in the 4th or 5th round. There were six trades in the 2nd and 3rd rounds to move up and the Wings gave up more than any other team in their trade.

  8. Bob says:

    I’m not sure what the beef is with the Larkin pick. He skates like Darren Helm, who can score, and is bigger. Some project him as a power forward player. The guy is 6’1″ and 190 and still needs to fill out, so could be playing at around 215 lbs. That’s not a guy you can just push around. Plus the draft is about stockpiling talent and taking the best player available, if they think that was Larkin then you go for it. Sure, i liked Kapanen or Tuch, and maybe McCann but there were a lot of other teams who chose to pass on those guys so maybe there’s some downfall there that we don’t see.

    If there is anything here to be upset about, i think it’s the Legwand trade. Nashville traded up to nab Vladislav Kamenev with our pick who some say would have gone in the top ten had he been playing in the CHL. And not only that we could have gone after guys like Roland McKeown, Jack Dougherty, Ryan MacInnis, or Aube-Kubel who were all highly regarded. So that’s a rental player for Jarnkrok and Kamenev. Not very good fellas.

  9. Bob says:

    Another observation… an NHL Columnist ranked the top 50 prospects post draft. Larkin came at 43, Mrazek at 39, Jarnkrok at 31 (sadly for us), and Mantha at 7. Tuch, Kapanen and McCann did not make the list.

  10. Patrick says:

    Bob, it has been almost 6 months since the trade deadline, get over it… we all drool over how crappy that trade was, but it is time to move on…



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