Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Open Post, Live Blog- Call It What You Want For The 2020 NHL Draft Lottery

Feel free to discuss anything related to the lottery, Wings, etc..

Show begins at 8pm ET on NBCSN, NHL Network, Sportsnet and TVAS.

If any links or embed codes appear the show, I will add them to this post and you should feel free to share links if you have them.

Other than that, enjoy Phase 1 of the Draft.

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Your Top Five Prospects

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Alexis Lafreniére Would Provide A Spark

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings need a spark. They need a player who can move the needle on the rebuild....

Alexis Lafreniére is regarded as the top talent in the draft. The 18-year-old is a smooth-skating left winger out of Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League who packed 35 goals and 77 assists into 52 games. That performance earned him the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year award for the second straight season; Sidney Crosby (another Rimouski Oceanic product) is the only other player to win the award back-to-back.

Lafreniére isn’t in the same echelon as Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews, but he’s a top-line forward who would add depth to a team as desperate as the Wings. Lafreniére's late birthday left him ineligible for last year’s draft by less than a month; he turns 19 on Oct. 11. He could step onto the ice with the Wings in 2020-21 and give them a scoring option beyond Mantha, Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi and Robby Fabbri.

The Wings have gradually sunk in the standings over the past four years, dropping from 25th in 2016-17 to 27th in 2017-18 to 28th in 2018-19 to rock bottom this season. Lafreniére would accelerate their climb toward the playoff picture.


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Video- Ken Holland On Going Into The Hockey Hall Of Fame

Ken Holand participated in a media conference today.

Just short of 21 minutes to watch.


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Pierre McGuire On The Wings

from Mark Falkner of the Detroit News,

According to NBC analyst Pierre McGuire, Yzerman will "speed up" Detroit's rebuild the fastest if they win the lottery (Detroit has an 18.5% chance of getting the first overall choice) and insert consensus No. 1 pick Alexis Lafreniere into the lineup.

But McGuire says even if the Red Wings fail to earn one of the top three picks and fall to fourth overall, the rebuild and return to the playoffs after a four-year drought is on course with their last three lottery picks (Michael Rasmussen in 2017, Fliip Zadina in 2018 and Moritz Seider in 2019) as well as one of the NHL's deepest list of prospects now being driven by chief amateur scout Kris Draper in Yzerman's reorganized scouting staff.

"If you get Lafreniere, you really change the equation," McGuire said. "He's the real deal. Usually, when a player dominates at the world juniors like he did this year, they can make the NHL. He's NHL ready. I'm sure people would offer Detroit a package of players and draft picks. I can't see them trading it. I would keep the pick and take Lafreniere. No matter what, it's an amazing draft. Tim Stutzle's skill level is off the charts, too.

read on

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Will You Be Watching The 2020 NHL Draft Lottery?

No need to tell you how important this is for the Detroit Red Wings and their rebuild.

Watching the Draft Lottery live?  Any superstitions you will be putting to use?  

Just in case you need an update on the Draft Lottery.  Friday at 8pm ET on NBCSN and NHL Network in the U.S. as well as Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.

Below, all the information one needs...

Continue Reading »

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Ken Holland Joins The 2020 Hockey Hall Of Fame Induction Class

TORONTO (June 24, 2020) – Lanny McDonald, Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame announced today that individuals have been elected to Hockey Hall of Fame Honoured Membership, in both the Player and Builder Category.  The vote took place today at the annual meeting of the Selection Committee in Toronto and remotely in North America and Europe.

“The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these hockey legends as Honoured Members,” said Lanny McDonald.  “Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved.”

In the Builder Category, one individual was elected.

Ken Holland began post playing career as a scout with the Detroit Red Wings in 1985. From there he moved up to the post of Assistant General Manager of the Red, while also acting as GM of their American Hockey League affiliate. Named the Detroit Red Wings’ GM in 1997 he then spent 22 seasons in that post winning three Stanley Cup Championships.  During his tenure in Detroit his team won more combined regular season and playoff games (1,044) than any other NHL franchise.

“I am incredibly humbled by this honour,” said Holland.  “I am in this game because I loved it as a young man and I am happy to have been able to stay in the game.”

Continue Reading »

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Hall Worthy In Detroit

from Greg Wyshynski of ESPN,

We applied this test to all 31 NHL teams, looking at players (active and alumni), coaches and execs who are locks for the Hall, those whose candidacy can be debated and those who need a few more years to percolate before we know if they're Hall-worthy....

Top candidate: Pavel Datsyuk, C

We're higher on Datsyuk than some. His candidacy is a lot like Bergeron's. He had three consecutive Selke Trophy wins and was a six-time finalist as a prototypical defensive forward, and has two Stanley Cup rings. He has a 0.98 points-per-game average but fell short of 1,000 points for his career before shuffling off to the KHL. Does his offensive explosiveness make up for that lack of flashy stats?

Up for debate: Henrik Zetterberg, C

Zetterberg has two quadrants locked down: His contributions to the Red Wings, with whom he played 1,082 games and had 960 points, capturing the Conn Smythe in 2008. But he never got the respect for his defensive game that he deserved during his career, playing in Steve Yzerman's and then Datsyuk's Selke shadow.

Give him a few years: Dylan Larkin, C

That 32-goal season in 2018-19 showed some considerable offensive upside. He turns 24 in July, and hopefully gets surrounded by players who can help him fulfill that promise in Detroit.

the other teams...

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With The 3rd Pick In The NHL Draft

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

If the Wings pick third again, general manager Steve Yzerman is likely to select either Quinton Byfield or Tim Stützle, depending on which forward is available.  Alexis Lafrenière is considered the consensus first overall pick, and Byfield and Stützle are projected to go in the top three.

If Byfield is the one available, the Wings will gain a 6-foot-4, 215-pound center who had 32 goals and 50 assists in 45 games this season with the Sudbury Wolves (Ontario Hockey League). Byfield’s 1.82 points-per-game average ranked fifth among OHL skaters. The 17-year-old was a member of Canada’s gold-medal winning squad at the 2020 World Junior Championship.

Byfield moves well, is deft with the puck in tight areas and maneuvers himself to the net to create scoring opportunities. He projects as a top-line center, someone who could give the Wings a formidable one-two punch with Dylan Larkin. Potentially in a few seasons, the depth chart up the middle reads Byfield, Larkin, and Joe Veleno (the Wings’ pick at 30th overall in 2018). Veleno could also fit as a winger, and Michael Rasmussen, the team’s first-round pick from 2017, could slot into the third-line center spot.


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Video- Spotlight On Joe Veleno

21 1/2 minutes of highlights from Joe Veleno.


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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com


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