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St. James: draft-mining Wings looking for the next Marchenko

The Red Wings' first-round pick will become the "flavor of the month," but the guts of the Wings' drafting and developing tends to take place in rounds 2 through 7, and the Free Press's Helene St. James offers up the example of one Alexey Marchenko as a good example of the efficiency of the Wings' draft-mining operations:

Players taken past round four often don't pan out, but the Wings have a great example from 2011 of why it pays to have good scouts across the world. In the seventh round of that year, the Wings had the seventh-to-last pick. A throw-away? Hardly. On the urging of Russia-based scout Nikolai Vakourov, the Wings went with Alexey Marchenko.

Marchenko, 23, is pencilled in to be a part of Detroit's lineup next season.

"Marchenko was a pick that Nikolai really liked," assistant general manager Ryan Martin told the Free Press. "That's a great example of an area guy that really liked a particular player and didn't stop lobbying for him as the draft got into later rounds. That's really what you want your area scouts to do so you might find those steals."

Jeff Finley, the chief amateur scout based in North America, and Hakan Andersson, the Sweden-based director of European scouting, don't have time to go out and see as much, if any, of the later-round options. Those two, and director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright, are the top three men in charge of what the Wings do at the entry draft. But as Saturday drags past noon, the Wings' four European scouts, which also includes Finland-based Ari Vouri, as well as three part-time amateur scouts, start to be more involved.

St. James continues...

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Probably means O’Reilly is getting traded.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/25/15 at 06:09 PM ET

Primis's avatar

This is the kind of stuff that’s tough, as a fan, to read.

I don’t want the Wings to get another Marchenko.  I want them to find a top pairing dman.  And it sure looks like they don’t have one anywhere in the org or system.  Marchenko is probably at tops a #3 or 4, much like DeKeyser and Ouellett and seemingly every other defensive prospect DET has.

It’s nice and all to have load of 3-7 d-men I suppose.  It gives you assets.  But using those assets to get what you REALLY need is key.

Posted by Primis on 06/26/15 at 10:11 AM ET


This is the kind of stuff that’s tough, as a fan, to read.

I agree. If our big hope is drafting a potential #4-6 dman…

Posted by VPalmer on 06/26/15 at 11:25 AM ET


To be fair, guys, I read this more like they are trying to find NHL players in the 4th-7th rounds. Not that they are pinning their hopes to finding another 5-6 defenseman but that they are trying to find guys in the bottom rounds who can help the team. More than likely, you’re not getting a guy who is a top-pair defenseman in the 4th-7th round.

For every Datsyuk/Zetterberg, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of players who don’t even make it to the NHL.

The big hope I have is that Axel Holmstrom becomes the next big late round gem.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 06/26/15 at 11:52 AM ET


Or let’s hope we find another Konstantinov… he was picked 221st overall.

Posted by mikedrw on 06/26/15 at 12:33 PM 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.