The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/28/14 at 02:38 PM ET
Updated 11x at 6:21 PM: The Red Wings' pair of days at the NHL draft are over.
The team picked Waterford, MI's Dylan Larkin on Friday, and then the Wings went forward-heavy in the third through seventh rounds, trading up to pick Portland Winterhawks forward Dominic Turgeon in the 3rd round, Frolunda Indians forward Christoffer Ehn in the 4th round (Hakan Andersson's on Frolunda's board of directors) a big college-bound (Colrado College) goalie in Chase Perry in the 5th round, massive stringbean and TPS Turku forward Julius Vahatalo in the 6th round (Wings scout Ari Vouri is TPS Turku's GM), and the Wings went with some wild cards in the 7th round in Skelleftea AIK's Axel Holmstrom and 20-year-old Atlant Mytishchi center Alexander Kadeykhin.
That's 6 forwards (5 centers and a left-wingerin Vahatalo), 1 goalie and no defensemen for the Wings, as well as 3 Americans, 2 Swedes, a Finn and a Russian.
The Wings' managerial and scouting staff have probably already made, "Come to our summer development camp in Traverse City" pitches to players who weren't drafted, and the Wings' prospects who attended the draft will head to the Philadelphia Phillies' game this evening.
The Red Wings' YouTube channel posted a cool video of Dylan Larkin's first moments as a Wing, and they posted a draft photo gallery, too...
And NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale duly noted that Larkin's "going home":
"It's awesome to be picked by Detroit," Larkin said. "I grew up just north of Detroit and all my friends and family were Wings' fans. It's a great organization and I'm excited to now be a part of the team."
Larkin, the first American-born player to be chosen in the draft, earned a gold medal as an alternate captain for the United States at the 2014 U-18 World Championship. He produced two goals and four points in the tournament. Before joining the USNTDP, Larkin began his career with the Lakeland Hockey Association in Waterford and later played for Belle Tire Hockey Club in Detroit, where he served as captain for the Bantam team that captured a national championship in 2011.
"There were a few members of the Red Wings organization who walked by me prior to making the pick and I was waiting for them to look at me but they didn't," Larkin said. "I was nervous and my heart was racing, but I'm so happy now. It was a great feeling."
Turgeon is a friend and sometime foe of Detroit’s first-round pick from the 2014 draft, Dylan Larkin.
Turgeon described it as “an unbelievable feeling“ to go to the Wings. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid, going to the draft.”
Turgeon, 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, is out of WHL’s Portland, where he’ll play again likely for another two years. His speed needs work, but his commitment to the type of game the Wings love - 200 feet - is solid.
“I’m going to be a two-way forward,” Turgeon said. “I’m going to be a strong defensive player, but I’m also going to be able to produce a lot of offense with my game.”
As has Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples...
“I knew [the Wings] were interested but at the time they didn’t have a pick around there so I wasn’t too sure,” Turgeon said. “But it feels really good.”
Turgeon also said that he knows first-round pick Dylan Larkin from both playing against him and playing with him at Team USA events. Larkin is the only Wings prospect Turgeon knows personally.
“I have been [to Detroit] a few times for hockey tournaments when I was younger,” Turgeon said. “I played against Belle Tire a lot because I was playing for the Colorado Thurnderbirds at the time, where I’m living currently.”
Turgeon says that he's not exactly Pierre II...
“I guess we’re pretty different,” the Wings’ pick said. “He was a highly offensive player in the NHL. I feel that right now my game is very strong defensively. But I feel as time goes on my offensive game is going to really jump.”
He’s expecting to increase his offensive output with Portland next year, however.
“I feel like with the players that we had through the years I was put in a certain role, maybe limited me a little bit, but as time goes on I feel like my offensive game is going to be very big and it’s going to come.”
But father and son were pretty thrilled to speak with NHL.com's EJ Hradek after their media availability:
Turgeon issued his first Wings Tweet...
While Axel Holmstrom, who probably hadn't heard if he'd been drafted, wondered where his buddy Sebastian Aho was on the draft list:
Pavel Datsyuk welcomed everybody to the fold, too...
And as I was writing this, RedWingsCentral posted its first article--a profile of Turgeon:
“We had him in our top 30 and we saw it as a chance to get in the third round a first-rounder,” said Red Wings chief amateur scout Jeff Finley. “It was a good opportunity to try and do what we could and move up to make sure we got him.”
Turgeon, a center with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, was ranked 97th among North Americans by Central Scouting after moving up 33 slots from the mid-term ranking. He was also rated 94th overall by The Hockey News.
The 6-foot-2, 196-pounder posted modest numbers for Portland, with 10 goals and 21 assists for 31 points in 65 games. But on a powerhouse team that has been to four straight WHL titles, Turgeon excelled in a third-line role.
“He was outstanding as a two-way center,” Finley said. “You can tell his dad has had an influence on his game. He’s very responsible, great on faceoffs, their No. 1 penalty-killer, blocks shots, always in the right position to support the puck in all three zones. In those parts of the game, he’s very mature for a young player. He understands and takes pride in those parts of the game.”
"If we would have had our second (round pick) we would have taken him there, so it prompted us to make a move," Wright said. "We didn't want to risk (someone else taking him) by waiting a couple of more picks. We wanted him and he's got good bloodlines."
Wright said bloodlines factored into the decision. Dominic's uncle, Sylvain, played 12 seasons in the NHL with the Hartford Whalers, New Jersey Devils, Montreal and Ottawa Senators.
"He's got great hockey sense," Wright said. "He played on a team where he kind of got moved back because of a lot of older and high-skilled guys who are moving on now. He's going to inherit a little bit of a bigger role next year and we hope his scoring ability will show. But we're really excited about getting him where we did."
Turgeon had 10 goals and 31 points, along with a plus-18 rating, in 65 games for Portland. He added two goals and eight points in the playoffs, as the Winterhawks advanced to the WHL finals, losing to Edmonton.
"No power-play time; he played on a line with two 17-year-old kids (Alex Schoenborn and Keegan Iverson) who got drafted today. They were a third-line checking line on one of the best teams in the Western Hockey League," Wright said. "Little things, he loves to win face-offs. He's competitive. He's good on the penalty kill. As he matures and gets bigger and better with responsibility we think that the offense will come. Once that comes and he rounds out his game we think we're going to get a pretty polished player."
And the Windsor Star's Bob Duff's already managed to ask Wright and Hakan Andersson about the balance of the Wings' picks.
Regarding the Swedes, Ehn, who's part of the Frolunda system, is a classic big-but-not-strong Swede...
“He’s got good hockey sense, always looking around to make plays, but has a lot of work to do,” Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson said of Ehn. “He’s lean. He’s 6-3. He’s a tall kid, needs to fill in. I’ve got good hopes for him. He’s got some raw stuff you can’t really teach.”
And Axel's a sparkplug who'll probably receive a bigger role with Skelleftea AIK after the two-time SHL champions lost half-a-dozen key contributors from their roster:
“He’s a 6-foot guy but weighs 195 pounds,” Andersson said. “He’s really committed to training and has good hockey sense. He has some point-producing ability and really works hard.”
Kadeykin could be another Mattias Janmark-style player, an older, more physically-developed player who's already put in a full year with Atlant Mytishchi of the KHL:
“He’s a big-body guy who had a real good year,” Detroit director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright said. “Nikolai (Vakourov), our Russian scout, really liked him and thought he’d be a great steal for the seventh round.”
Vahatalo is skinny, but he's lanky as lanky can be, and it sounds like the Wings will very happy leave him with TPS Turku, playing in Europe's most rough-and-tumble league:
“He’s very big and skates well,” Andersson said. “He’s very lean also. He has two or three years of hard work just to fill out to normal size for a 6-foot-5 guy, but has ability.”
It sounds like Perry, who will be going to Colorado College, is something of a safety valve in case Jared Coreau or Jake Paterson don't pan out:
“Goaltenders need to develop, they need to be coached,” Wright said. “He’s a big kid, an athletic kid, so hopefully we can start molding these guys in the right direction.”
Overall, Wright told Duff that the Wings felt that it was important to continue emphasizing the team's newer big-but-skilled model, although this crop of draftees is most definitely more defensively oriented:
“We added a lot of size, but we tried to get bigger with the same model of trying to stick with our skill and our sense,” Wright said.
The Free Press's St. James has posited profiles of the later-round picks, too:
C Christoffer Ehn
Overview: In 62 games last season split among Frolunda, Frolunda Jr. and Frolunda U-18, Ehn posted 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points. From Swedish scout Hakan Andersson, “Good size kid, needs to fill out. Good hockey sense, always looking around to make plays. I’ve got good hopes for him, because he’s got some of that stuff you can’t teach.”
G Thomas (Chase) Perry
Overview: Posted a 2.34 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in 35 games in 2013-14. Director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright said, “big guy, going to go to Colorado College next season. Goaltenders need to develop, and they need to get coached, but big kid, athletic kid.”
LW Julius Vahatalo
Overview: Posted 39 points (18 goals) in 33 games in 2013-14. From Andersson, “he was injured quite a bit, and came back and played really well for them. Very big, skates well. Very lean also — has two-three years of hard work just to fill out for size. But has ability. Was a real point producer before getting injured — was over a point a game.”
C Axel Holmstrom
Overview: Had 15 goals and 23 points in 33 games for the junior team, earning him four games (0 points) with the big-league club. Had one assist in four games for Sweden in U-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial. Andersson said, “He’s a really hard worker. He’s a little bit of an early developer. He’s very committed to training. He also has good hockey sense.”
F Alexander Kadeykin
Overview: Posted 23 points (eight goals) in 54 games in 2013.-14. From Andersson, “Mytischi was a poor team this year, they didn’t make the playoffs, but as a 20-year-old, he was their first or second-round center. He was plus-17, which is pretty good. He’s a big guy, too, has some hands. Has a little work to do on skating, but he skated well enough to play in the KHL.”
And I suppose we should end at the beginning--at least for now--because DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose penned a particularly intriguing second-day-outlook article just as the second round was getting underway:
"We’re going to target some guys,” said Tyler Wright, the Wings’ director of amateur scouting. “We still think we’re going to get some pretty good players, it’s kind of wide open now with the first round done. It’s a little bit of a volatile draft, to say, but we’ll see if we can get back into the second (round), get back into play that might still be an option but we’ll see.”
However, if the Wings can’t move up on the draft board, they will remain focused on acquiring young prospects that either are the best available or to fill organizational need.
“I’m a firm believer that you have your list, you push guys up on your list that you want to get, whether it’s a defenseman, a centerman, a goaltender,” Wright said. “We know we have a need for a right-handed shot D, stuff like that. Is it an area that we can address? It could be but we’re not going to do it for the sake of it.”
The Wings apparently got their guys, but they didn't pick defensemen for the sake of picking defensemen, that's for sure!
Shifting our focus to the trade-and-free-agent fun that's almost upon us...
Otherwise...SeaCoastOnline's Mike Zhe reports that former Wing and St. Louis Blues goalie consultant Ty Conklin's trying his hand at the pro-am golf game...
Par save, and a beauty. Former University of New Hampshire and NHL goaltender Ty Conklin didn't put himself in contention after his first-ever round in the Seacoast Amateur, but neither did the 38-year-old embarrass himself, either.
Conklin made enough pars — including on eight of his final nine holes — to offset a shaky front nine and post a 7-over-par 79 at Rochester Country Club as the 34th Seacoast Am opened Friday.
If he can match that or improve during today's second round at Portsmouth CC, he should be among the low 48 players and ties who make the cut for Round 3, one of his goals going in.
"I'm like any other 4 or 5 handicap," he said. "Even when it's going good, it's not like you're going to shoot 70 or 69 that often."
The Oakland Press's Pat Caputo looked toward the next round of Detroit sports Hall-of-Famers...
1. Nicklas Lidstrom – A strong case can be made Lidstrom is not only the greatest defenseman in Red Wings’ history, but NHL history. His induction into the Hockey of Fame next year, the first he is eligible, is a mere formality.
4. Chris Osgood – It is amazing how little respect Osgood gets even in this town. He is one of only 10 goalies with 400 or more career wins. He played on three Stanley Cup champions, and was the primary goalie for two of those playoff runs. He wasn’t just the product of a great team around him. He was one of the reasons those teams were so great.
6. Sergei Fedorov – He had a quirky personality when he played for the Red Wings, and it often didn’t endear him with fans. However, Fedorov’s brilliance can’t be denied. He ranks 48th all-time among the NHL’s all-time leading scorers, won a Hart Trophy as the league MVP and, more importantly, is among the greatest defensive forwards of all-time. If Pavel Bure is in the Hall of Fame, why isn’t Fedorov? He was the better player.
(Because Fedorov isn't eligible till next season because he played pro hockey until 2012)
That's what I've got for you for now. I'll update this post with more draft articles as the day warrants, and will try to put an overnight report together...and then I need to catch up on sleep on Sunday, because I shop for Traverse City on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are UFA Days, and Wednesday, I'm driving up to TC to get ready for the start of prospect camp.
Update: Here's the Wings' press release regarding their draft haul:
DETROIT ADDS FIVE CENTERS AND ONE GOALIE DURING SECOND DAY OF NHL ENTRY DRAFT
… Red Wings Move Up to Select Forward Dominic Turgeon in Third Round …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today made six selections during the second day of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Red Wings began the day by trading their third-round selection (76th overall) and a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft to Columbus to select center Dominic Turgeon in the third round (63rd overall) and later added center Christoffer Ehn (fourth round/106th overall), goaltender Thomas (Chase) Perry (fifth round/136th overall), center Julius Vahatalo (sixth round/166th overall), center Axel Holmstrom (seventh round/196th overall) and center Alexander Kadeykin (seventh round/201st overall).
Turgeon, 18, spent the last two seasons with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, registering 31 points (10-21-31), 31 penalty minutes and a plus-18 rating in 65 games with the team in 2013-14. He helped the team advance to the 2014 WHL Finals, posting eight points (2-6-8) in 21 postseason contests. In 2012-13, the 6-foot-1, 196-pound forward notched eight points (3-5-8) and two penalty minutes in 54 games with the WHL-champion Winterhawks. Born in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, and raised in Cherry Hills Village, Colo., Turgeon also spent time with the U.S. National Team Development Program last season, where he was briefly a teammate of Detroit’s first-round selection, Dylan Larkin. He tallied three assists in seven games with the Under-17 Team and added three points (0-3-3) in six games at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, where the United States captured a bronze medal. He is the son of Pierre Turgeon, the first overall pick of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, who played for six NHL teams over a 19-year career from 1987-07.
Ehn split last season between Frolunda’s under-18 and under-20 teams in the Swedish junior ranks. The Skara, Sweden, native picked up a combined 18 points (8-10-18) in 15 games at the under-18 level and added 11 points (4-7-11) in 45 games in Sweden’s top under-20 circuit. A 6-foot-3, 181-pound center, Ehn also debuted for Frolunda’s professional club in 2013-14, skating in two games. He also represented his country at the 2014 World Under-18 Championships, recording three points (0-3-3) in seven contests. The 18-year-old forward has totaled 80 points (33-47-80) and 36 penalty minutes in 86 career games in the Swedish under-18 leagues and 15 points (8-7-15) in 59 games at the under-20 level.
Perry, a 6-foot-2, 176-pound goaltender from Andover, Minn., suited up in 35 games for the NAHL’s Wenatchee Wild in 2013-14, sporting a 15-12-6 record, 2.34 goals against average, 0.905 save percentage and two shutouts in 35 games, while being named his club’s most valuable player. Prior to joining Wenatchee, the 18-year-old netminder spent three seasons with Andover High School in Minnesota, notching three shutouts in 69 career appearances. He is committed to Colorado College in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference for 2014-15.
Vahatalo, 19, registered 39 points (18-21-39) in 33 games for TPS Turku in Finland’s top junior league and added three points (3-0-3) in 18 games for TPS Turku’s senior team during the 2013-14 campaign. A 6-foot-4, 192-pound center hailing from Vahto, Finland, Vahatalo has tallied 45 points (19-26-45) in 49 career games at the under-20 level, adding 60 points (23-37-60) in 63 games in the Finnish Junior B circuit.
With the first of two seventh-round selections, the Red Wings selected center Axel Holmstrom, a 17-year-old from Arvidsjaur, Sweden. The 6-foot, 196-pound forward spent most of the 2013-14 season with Skelleftea’s under-20 club in the top Swedish junior league. In 33 games with the club, he ranked second on the team with 38 points (15-23-38) in addition to 12 penalty minutes and a plus-18 rating. He also made his professional debut, appearing in four games with Skelleftea in the SHL. Holmstrom skated in seven games for Sweden at the 2014 World Under-18 Championships, ranking second on the team with 11 points (3-8-11) in seven contests.
Detroit’s final selection was 20-year-old Alexander Kadeykin, chosen with a seventh-round pick the team acquired from San Jose in exchange for Brad Stuart in June 2012. A 6-foot-5, 216-pound center from Elektrostal, Russia, Kadeykin spent this season with Atlant Mytishchi in the KHL, leading the club in points (8-15-23) and plus-minus (plus-17) in his first professional season. Kadeykin had previously played for Atlant Mytishchi’s minor league club in Russia, racking up 131 points (47-84-131) in 135 games from 2010-14.
Update #2: Here's the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness speaking with Wright and Andersson, first about Turgeon...
“It plays into it a lot,” Detroit’s new director of amateur scouting said Tyler Wright when asked how does a bloodline factor in when selecting a player. “You can tell by the way he plays, he’s got great hockey sense.
“It’s a hard league to play in and it’s a hard league to excel in, and when you’re surrounded your whole life with a sport that is your ultimate thing, which means a lot to the family, it’s all about winning at the end of the day,” Wright continued. “We want guys who want to win. We don’t just want to be content with being a player in the NHL. Let’s be a good player and at the end of the day let’s win.”
The Larkin-Turgeon dynamic...
“Well, some of them play the wing but we took a lot of forwards, guys who are interchangeable,” Wright said. “But Larkin and Turgeon are both centermen. Dominic Turgeon is a guy that we targeted really high. If we would have had our second (round pick) we would have taken him there. So it prompted us to make a move. He was a guy that we thought if we could get him in the second and he fell into the third we didn’t want to risk that chance by waiting a couple of more picks. We wanted him and he’s got good blood lines.”
And the team's long-term hopes for today's crop:
“We have a bunch of guys that if one pans out, we might have a centerman for (Anthony) Mantha one day,” said Hakan Andersson, the Wings’ long-time director of European scouting. “That’s what we’re hoping. We’ll see. Draft a bunch of guys and then hope.”
“We always take the best player,” Andersson said. “If we end up with eight defensemen, if they’re just good enough, we can trade a few of them for other assets.
“Calle Jarnkrok was a good prospect for us, we traded him because we needed urgent help,” Andersson continued. “We looked down our lineup before this draft and we were a little bit thin at center. So we did talk about it a little. It just fell that way for us. If there would have been a defenseman we liked more we would have still drafted him. As it turned out, we drafted a couple of centermen that we seriously liked.”
“Where we were picking, we were just looking for the best players available,” said Tyler Wright, the Red Wings’ director of amateur scouting. “We wanted to keep within our philosophy of players with character, passion and skill, and we feel we’ve done that.”
A couple years down the road, the Red Wings and every other organization in the NHL likely will get a better idea of how successful this weekend was.
“These players are now in a pool of players that we already have in our organization,” Wright said. “And now we have give them the resources to develop and hopefully become NHL players in the future.”
“We had a couple of defensemen (targeted), but when they were picked, we went to the next best player,” Wright said. “The game is played a certain way these days and you need to have that skill.”
Goalie Chase Perry (fifth round) and left wing Julius Vahatalo (sixth round) were the only non-centers drafted.
Some of these draft picks, and many from the previous few years, will take part in the Red Wings’ annual summer development camp next weekend in Traverse City. After that, for some it’ll be training camp with the Red Wings in September, then back to their amateur teams — and further development.
“This isn’t an exact science,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “You’re trying to figure out 18-year-old kids. You just hope two, three or four years down the road they’ve grown into NHL players.”
DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose addressed the same topic...
"We’re very satisfied,” said Wright of the seven prospects picked at Wells Fargo Center this weekend. “We said if we could walk out of there with players like Larkin and Turgeon with the first two picks we would be excited about that. We got a goalie later and rounded it out with some big-bodied guys that need some time to develop, but they’re all names in our pool.”
The Red Wings like Turgeon’s maturity and how he accepted his role from former Winterhawks coach Mike Johnston, who last week accepted the Pittsburgh Penguins head coaching job.
“He hasn’t been in a top offensive role because of the depth of the team that they’ve had,” said Jiri Fischer, the Red Wings’ director of player development. “It was a junior dynasty that they built three years in a row. He was on a star-studded team and he had to work hard for everything that he got. So his offense came from out-playing someone 5-on-5. He wasn’t handed the key to the power play, and that’s exciting especially with a lot of (Portland) players leaving next year.
“He’s been guided very, very well, and our scouts, Jeff Finley and Tyler Wright, who have seen him the most, they love his smarts, his defensive play, which is always a sign of a huge maturity level for young kids.”
Turgeon becomes the fourth player in the Wings’ development system with family members who played in the NHL, joining Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi and Louis-Marc Aubry.
“I think it’s just coincidental,” Fischer said. “From Mantha to Bertuzzi to Aubry I think it just happens. Certainly in the last couple of drafts there have been a few kids that you can make an argument for. It’s been profiled quite a bit and it makes for good stories. It seems to be a media-attracting theme.”
And amongst Roose's prospect profiles:
ALEXANDER KADEYKIN, C, 7th ROUND, No. 201 (from San Jose): Kadeykin is a 20-year-old Russian from Elektrostal, which is just east of Moscow. He played parts of the past two seasons with Atlanty Mytischi of the KHL, producing eight goals and 23 points in 56 games.
“As a 20-year-old I think he was their first or second line center and he was plus-17, which is good,” Andersson said. “He’s a big guy, too, 6-foot-4 and has some hands. Has a little work on the skating but his skating is good enough to play in the KHL as a 20-year old, so it’s not all bad.”
We wanted to get a goalie at some point in this draft and at that point, he was the guy we liked,” said Red Wings scout David Kolb. “He was a good fit at that stage of the draft.”
Perry started the season splitting time with 20-year-old Swede Gustaf Johansson, but took over in the second half when Johansson was lost to injury. He finished with a 15-12-6 record in 35 starts for the expansion club, posting three shutouts, a 2.34 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.
But he took his game to another level in the post-season — knocking off the Minnesota Wilderness in the first round — posting three shutouts in 10 playoff starts along with a 1.83 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.
“He had a very strong playoffs,” Kolb said. “Chase is a tremendous athlete. His athleticism, his battle, his ability to make second and third saves — that really stood out for me. Very competitive and obviously good size, which in today’s game is very important.”
Update #4: From ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:
Daniel Alfredsson, 41, continues to mull over his playing future.
"I think right now, Daniel -- not unlike a lot of veteran guys in his situation and his age -- just wants to take his time and make the right decision," his agent J.P. Barry of CAA said Saturday. "He wants to feel 100 percent before he makes any decision.
"I think he’s leaning towards playing, we all think that, but at the same time he needs that time in the summer to feel 100 percent."
If Alfredsson does return, it’s likely only for Detroit.
Matt Niskanen is almost surely gone from Pittsburgh, the cap-challenged Penguins unable to match what the UFA blueliner will fetch on the open market both in term and dollars.
Don’t be surprised to see Niskanen and his agent Neil Sheehy fetch north of $5 million a year and term around five or six years for the puck-mover.
Update #5: Axel Holmstrom made CBS Sports Brian Stubits' all-name team:
3. Axel Holmstrom, 196th to Detroit. This is just a bad-ass name. Axel? You know this guy is pretty tough and/or cool, there's some kind of rule that you have to be if Axel is your name. Then you get to the fact that there's another Holmstrom heading to Detroit. They had a pretty popular fellow for a long time in Hockeytown with that same surname and that worked out well for the Wings. Solid name all around on this one.
"We just thought we needed to get some more forwards," Tyler Wright, the club's director of amateur scouting, said. "No. 1 thing we want to start addressing is scoring. We want to be able to score more goals. We had a couple of defensemen we thought we were going to take that unfortunately got picked right before and we just reverted to the other guys."
And he posits some superb player capsules, starting with Ehn:
"Good hockey sense, always looking around to make plays but has a lot of work to do," Andersson said. "He's lean, needs to fill in. He's got some raw stuff you can't really teach."
Red Wings Finnish scout Ari Vouri recommended Vahatalo.
"Very big, skates well, very lean also," Andersson said. "Has 2-3 years hard work just to fill out to normal size for a 6-foot-5 guy but has ability. He was a real point-producing junior before he got injured."
Holmstrom is no relation to long-time Red Wings net-front extraordinaire Tomas Holmstrom.
"A really hard worker," Andersson said. "He's really committed to training and has good hockey sense."
Red Wings scout Nikolai Vakourov recommended Kadeykin with their final pick, 201st overall.
"(Vakourov) really liked him and thought he'd be a steal for the seventh round," Wright said. "Once you start getting into those late rounds you've got to gamble a little with the philosophy and we've had a pretty good track record in Europe."
Khan continues, and he asked Wright a wonderful question about drafting all these left-shooting forwards, but I can't quote his entire article (though I made a good attempt at it).
Also: The Free Press posted a "meet Dylan Larkin" gallery.
Time will tell whether Axel Holmstrom proves to be another late-round steal for Hakan Andersson, but at least two rival scouts on the Philadelphia draft floor were green with envy over the selection.
“Two European scouts came up to me and said, ‘I lost a battle at my table. I wanted to take that kid ahead of you but I was voted down at my table. They wouldn’t let me,’” recounted Andersson, the Red Wings director of European scouting. “You don’t always hear that.”
“He can do stuff with the puck but he also works very hard,” Andersson said. “He’s a very hard-working kid and he has good hockey sense. He’s very stocky, he’s very mature, but he just works so hard and he is so dedicated off the ice. Trains hard, works hard.”
RedWingsCentral continues, and let's all be surprised that Axel's not the best skater...
Update: Here are the Detroit News's Day 2 player capsules:
DOMINIC TURGEON, C
Round: 3 (132)
Last season: Portland of the WHL — 65 games, 10 goals, 21 assists
Scouting report: Son of 19-year NHL veteran Pierre Turgeon. ... Strength is his hockey sense and vision on the ice, as well as good size. ... Needs to work on his quickness, but otherwise, Turgeon dropped into the Red Wings’ laps and could become a steal.
CHRISTOFFER EHN, C/LW
Round: 4 (106)
Last season: Frolunda in the Swedish Elite — 45 games, four goals, seven assists
Scouting report: A two-way forward who has the type of frame to add more muscle. ... Red Wings scouts liked his size and skating ability. ... Needs time to get stronger.
CHASE PERRY, G
Round: 5 (136)
Last season: Wenatchee of the NAHL — 14-12-4, 2.34 GAA, .905 save percentage
Scouting report: Committed to play at Colorado College. ... Prototypical size and athleticism for current NHL goalies. ... An aggressive goalie, likes to challenge shooters. ... Like most young goalies, struggles with consistency and isn’t a great puckhandler, but will have time to develop.
JULIUS VAHATALO, LF
Round: 6 (166)
Height/weight: 6-5/190 Wt.: 190
Last season: TPS Jr. in Finland — 33 games, 18 goals, 21 assists
Scouting report: Not overly physical, more of a finesse player. ... If he grows into his body, Vahatalo could turn into a big power forward. ... Struggled with injuries last season. ... Has offensive talent. ... Passed over in the NHL entry draft last year.
AXEL HOLMSTROM, C
Round: 7 (196)
Height/weight: 6-0; Wt.: 196
Last season: Skelleftea in Sweden — 33 games, 15 goals, 23 assists
Scouting report: Good size and scouts like his hockey smarts. ... Not an elite skater yet, which likely caused him to fall in this draft. ... Has played well against good competition in Sweden.
ALEXANDER KADEYKIN, C
Round: 7 (201)
Last season: Mytischi in Russia — 54 games, eight goals, 15 assists
Scouting report: Has competed in top-level competition in Russia and shown promise. ... Needs to grow into his body physically but has the type of size teams crave. ... Lack of strength is a big area to improve right now.
And the Wings just posted an interview with Dylan Larkin's ecstatic parents:
Update #9: The Detroit News's Kulfan has filed a notebook article:
Another father/son combo:Former Red Wings forward Doug Brown saw his son, Christopher, get drafted Saturday in Philadelphia.
Christopher, a center at Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, and was drafted in the sixth-round by the Buffalo Sabres.
Brown is headed to play at Boston College, where Doug also played.
Kicking the tires: With Bill Peters having been named the new head coach in Carolina, there’s a “Help Wanted” sign for a Red Wings assistant coach. General manager Ken Holland and coach Mike Babcock both said they are “kicking tires” and accumulating available names, but there have been no interviews.
Holland reiterated Jeff Blashill, who served as Babcock’s assistant three seasons ago before being named head coach at minor-league affiliate Grand Rapids, will remain with the Griffins.
Tom Renney will remain an associate coach on Babcock’s staff.
Where they're from: Canada once again produced the majority of the 210 players drafted. The United States and Sweden were next, with the USA’s total of 67 players representing a best-ever percentage (32 percent).
The final breakdown: Canada 77 players, United States 67, Sweden 27, Russia 13, Finland 9, Czech Republic 8, Latvia 2, Switzerland 2, United Kingdom 2, Denmark 1, Germany 1, Slovakia 1.
Update #10: RedWingsCentral's latest prospect profile involves Dylan Larkin:
“We were hoping he’d slide to us,” Finley said. “He’s a two-way player, a tremendous, exceptional skater with great speed, a heart-and-soul guy who just plays the game hard, the right way, all the time.”
With the development program based in Ann Arbor, Mich., the Red Wings got to see plenty of Larkin. And rarely, if ever, did their scouts leave disappointed.
“I don’t think there was ever a game we saw where you didn’t notice his effort, whether he made an impact on the score-sheet or not,” Finley said.
"For sure, we have a third-line guy who is a great character guy and will wear a letter for you down the road, and you hope there’s enough offense that maybe he’s a second-line center in time,” Finley said. “He’s going to be a good NHL player for us. He’s the kind of guy you win with.”
The Wings' sixth-rounder, Vahatalo, was spotted by the Wings' Finnish scout, Ari Vouri.
"He's 6-foot-5, biggest of them all," Andersson said. "He was injured quite a bit. Played for TPS in Finnish league, that's where Ari Vouri lives. He knows him very well. He was injured and came back and played well for them. They put him up on the men's team, too. I saw him a couple of games. Very big, skates well. Very lean also. Has 2-3 years hard work just to fill out to normal size for a 6-foot-5 guy but has ability. He was a real point-producing junior before he got injured, over a point per game. We're hoping if he comes back from that we might have a guy there."
Vahatalo, 19, had 18 points and 21 assists in 33 games with TPS Jr. and three goals in 18 games with TPS....
The Wings' second seventh-round pick, Kadeykin, turns 21 in October.
"He's a 93-born playing in the KHL," Wright said. "A big-body guy who had a real good year. Nikolai (Vakourov), our Russian scout, really liked him and thought he'd be a great pick and a great steal for the seventh round. He was there for us so we took him."
Kadeykin had eight goals and 15 assists in 54 games with Mytischi and 14 goals and 29 assists in 26 games for Mytischi Jr.
"They were a poor team this year, didn't make the playoffs in the KHL, but as a 20-year old I think he was their first or second-line center and he was plus-17, which is good," Andersson said. "He's a big guy, too. 6-foot-4 and has some hands. Has a little work on the skating but his skating is good enough to play in the KHL as a 20-year old, so it's not all bad."
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