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Pleiness talks to Red Wings’ director of amateur scouting McDonnell, GM Holland about draft strategy

This topic's been covered in the overnight report and past entries, but I think it's time that we let Red Wings director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell earn his own entry. The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness spoke to McDonnell, who's running the draft now that Jim Nill's departed for Dallas, and McDonnell told Pleiness that the Wings will at least lean toward taking a forward when they head to the podium to make the 18th overall selection:

“The only difference this year is we’d really like to get a forward, unless there’s a defenseman that’s too good to pass up,” said Joe McDonnell, the team’s director of amateur scouting. “When it comes to our pick, if we feel there’s two players that are even we’ll lean toward the forward.”

As Pleiness suggests, oodles of mock drafts have the Wings picking defensemen, but the Wings aren't necessarily leaning that way...

“Every team’s almost in the same boat,” McDonnell said. “It’s just the way the game has evolved. It’s a big man’s game. I’m not saying there’s no room for smaller guys, but if you can get a big, skilled guy, you go that route. Still take small guys if we have to. But we’re looking to get bigger. We have bigger guys coming up in (Tomas) Jurco and (Riley) Sheahan.”

The draft, which is one day this year, begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday with the Wings having the 18th pick, which is their highest pick since 1991.

“We’re excited, at 18, we know we’ll get someone we really like,” McDonnell said. “The draft in general is strong, in the first round and even into the second round. It’s deep at the top end of the draft and then it peters out. There will be guys we like even in the seventh round. But the high-end part of the draft is good. At 18, we’ll get a quality player.”

Though Ken Holland told Pleiness that the "best player available" axiom will usually apply:

“It’s always the best player,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “We feel like we’ve got some good prospects on defense and some good prospects up front. We’d like to add a few more. We’re hoping to look back in six years and we’ve got two NHL players out of this draft. If you have a great, great day maybe you have three.”

Pleiness continues and snags some excellent quotes from both McDonnell regarding the team's strengths and weaknesses prospect-wise and Holland on the art of drafting versus developing players.

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Comments

SYF's avatar

Will be watching DAL (10th pick) and TBL (3rd pick) as well.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/29/13 at 01:55 PM ET

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Sam Morin please.

Posted by zombietroy on 06/29/13 at 08:11 PM ET

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Funny how people feel it’s a big man’s game again. Wasn’t the point of the rule change to give smaller players an easier time getting by strength with their skill?

Must be a sign of the way the game is officiated today, compared to the first year after the lockout.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 06/29/13 at 09:18 PM ET

SYF's avatar

DRW’s official YouTube channel posted a quick clip of Joe McDonnell.  Really cool vid.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 06/30/13 at 02:06 AM ET

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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.