The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/02/12 at 04:23 PM ET
The Wings may not have a 1st round draft pick thanks to the Kyle Quincey deal, but the Wings still have six picks (starting with the 49th overall pick and continuing with the 20th pick in the 3rd through 7th rounds), and their amateur scouts have every intention of making hay despite their predictably limited and low-round resources.
The Wings’ amateur scouts and members of their front office attended this past week’s “NHL Scouting Combine” in Toronto, and Red Wings director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell told NHL.com’s Mike G. Morreale that the team still believes it can make its quota of obtaining two solid NHL players from their six picks:
“We don’t have a first round pick this year, so we’re picking No. 49 [overall],” McDonnell told NHL.com. “You still want to check the kids out but for us, most of the kids that are here and are high-end guys that had injuries, we’re never going to get a shot at anyway. So there’s no one particular guy we’re looking at.”
Finding those hidden gems hasn’t been too much of a problem for the Red Wings in the past. After all, they discovered Tomas Holmstrom (257th overall in 1994), Pavel Datsyuk (171st ‘98), Henrik Zetterberg (210th in ‘99), Niklas Kronwall (29th in 2000), Jiri Hudler (58th in ‘02), Valtteri Filppula (95th in ‘02), Jonathan Ericsson (291st in ‘02), Johan Franzen (97th in ‘04) and Justin Abdelkader (42nd in ‘05) late in the draft. McDonnell feels the top-end talent in this year’s draft doesn’t match that of 2011.
“I think it’s a deep draft this year, but I don’t believe the top-end is the quite the same,” McDonnell said. “I couldn’t tell you who is going to go No. 1. It’s a tough call this year.”
Yadda yadda Yakupov, yadda yadda who knows who’ll go where for the first 10-15 picks, etc…
While McDonnell may be uncertain at how the top 10 might look, he was pretty emphatic when asked about this year’s talented crops of goaltenders.
“The goalie crops is probably the deepest that I’ve seen in quite a while,” he said. “Maybe the top end consists of [Andrei] Vasilevski, [Malcom] Subban and [Oscar] Dansk. Maybe [Joonas] Korpisalo is also in the mix, and then another group of 10 keepers is just a notch below them. It’s very deep.”
Given that the team’s goaltending depth is looking petty sparse as they may not re-sign Jordan Pearce, aren’t sure whether Thomas McCollum can be salvaged, can only boast one blue-chip prospect in Petr Mrazek, and have a possible goner in Joey MacDonald (whose wonky back and one-way, NHL-only contract may result in the Wings signing a free-agent NHL back-up, and perhaps a callable-uppable veteran mentor for Mrazek and the Griffins as well) and, um, no one else, it’s highly, highly likely that the Wings will draft a goalie or two.
When asked if the organization will have to load up on defenders following the retirement of veteran Nicklas Lidstrom, McDonnell smiled.
“We’re hoping to get Lidstrom in the second round and have him step right in in September I’m sure,” he said. “At least, that’s what Kenny [Holland] is hoping for.”
That line sounds particularly cheesy given that Holland and Jim Nill tend to suggest that their draft picks, if they’re lucky, will develop in five-to-eight years, but the Wings really do believe that, at least once in a while, they might get lucky and draft a player exempt from their long developmental rules. Their expectations cannot slip from that elite level.
This doesn’t necessarily belong here, but if you think that McDonnell is crazy, check out the Edmonton Journal’s David Staples’ attempts to twist subjective stats and hockey “moneyball” stuff into stating that David Bolland is a way, way, way better defensive player than some pedestrian dude named Pavel Datsyuk. The Edmonton Journal’s writers are generally astute, but my God, do they ever use statistics to convince their readers that up is down, black is white and that if you toss off enough sets of numbers, you can completely quantify a player’s “worth” by statistics alone.
And that’s unf***ingbelievably ridiculous.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.