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Abel to Yzerman

Ranking The Top Prospects

Chris Peters of HockeySense does a great job with prospects.  His site is subscription only but this time of year is well worth it.  Consider a subscription if you can.

1. Owen Power, D, Michigan (Big Ten)

With his season over, there isn’t a ton more Power can do to solidify his case to be the No. 1 pick in the draft, but he’s done enough this season to earn the pole position at this point. As has been the case throughout the season, the race for No. 1 remains tight with opinions widespread on who it should be.

To me, the player with the most translatable skills to NHL impact and potential stardom remains Power. His maturity is already beyond his years and he’s taken the right approach to his development, excelling at each step without rushing the process....

2. Matty Beniers, C, Michigan (Big Ten)

Beniers does the things every team needs in a center to win games. He’s got the skill and speed to pressure teams offensively, but then he’s able to be among the best defensive centers you can throw over the boards. His work ethic on and off the puck is unrivaled in this class, which makes him both difficult to play against and a coach’s dream. He has that natural toughness that doesn’t manifest itself in big hits or over-aggressiveness, rather he’s going all out in the corners, at the net front, with one goal in mind – the puck belongs to him and it’s going to be a fight for you to try and keep it....

3. Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

My, oh my, what a start for Guenther since the WHL returned. He’d been among the top scorers in the league since the puck dropped and never really looked back before leaving for Canada’s U18 camp. We should take some of the numbers with a small grain of salt just because of the way the WHL schedule is set up this season. When you remove the grueling travel and almost 40 games from the schedule, it does make for a better chance at more sustainable production in a smaller, more controlled sample. Even without that, though, you just need to look at Guenther’s skill set to see why he is among the exceptional in this draft class and averaged a WHL-best two-points per game before departing.

more on each of the above plus 42 more names...

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Paul's avatar

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

The hockey, the life experience in Sweden and getting to play a different brand of hockey.

For a 21-year-old awaiting his first shot in the NHL, it was a tremendous learning tool.

“I enjoyed it a lot, it was a real good experience,” said Veleno, who is in quarantine until Sunday, having returned from Sweden a week ago. Next, he will jump into the Grand Rapids Griffins lineup and possibly the Red Wings plans before the NHL season is done.

“There were a lot of things to get adjusted to, obviously, but afterward, I really liked it,” Veleno said. “I liked the experience I had with the guys and the team. They welcomed me with open arms and took good care of me.”

The Wings were able to place many of their top prospects – Veleno, Moritz Seider and Michael Rasmussen, among others – with a variety of European teams before the season began.

The ability for these young players to continue competing regularly, get valuable repetitions in games and practices and continue to live and breathe hockey was vital.


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/16/21 at 04:56 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Of the first 32 picks, I probably counted about 5-7 potential picks having a connection to Michigan universities, OHL, USHL, and the USNDTP.

It’s exciting to see that much talent coming out of Michigan.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 04/16/21 at 06:19 PM ET


I assume we will be picking 6th. Who is there at 5-7?

Posted by VPalmer on 04/16/21 at 07:34 PM ET


Covid has made this draft so unpredictable it might be the lowest expectations ever placed in the first round

Posted by SevensForTed on 04/16/21 at 07:40 PM ET


Luke Hughes, jesper wallstadt,  atu ratty,  William Eklund.

Posted by ThatGuy on 04/16/21 at 07:53 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

I assume we will be picking 6th. Who is there at 5-7?

Assuming the Red Wings finish with the 6th worst record, they will drop a few spots. You know the reason. mad

Posted by bigfrog on 04/16/21 at 10:08 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

With the winning streak this team is on they will be picking around 10th to 15th depending on how long it lasts. Some of the other bottom dwelling teams traded away good talent for picks so they aren’t likely to start winning.

It bothers me the Sabres are going to probably get the first over all again.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 04/16/21 at 10:42 PM ET


Best I see so far is a handful of legit top pair D and a couple centers with first line potential.  This is the draft to hit outside the first if there was one.  On top of it, some had really good small sample sizes and others who have fallen because of it.

Posted by ThatGuy on 04/16/21 at 10:57 PM ET

d ca's avatar

It bothers me that again the Wings didn’t learn from past mistakes of the Jack Hughes draft and went on an end-of-year meaningless win streak and lost the 3rd lowest odds to NJD who won.

...and the Moritz Seider blah blah blah talk doesn’t take into account the worst part of that win streak…..

it extended Blash on April 2, 2019.

...anything is possible in a lottery, but I’d rather take the odds and the guarantee to not slip to worse than 4th any day.


Posted by d ca on 04/17/21 at 05:26 AM ET


7-15 would probably land us an elite goalie.

Posted by Jdunc from Flint, MI on 04/17/21 at 08:23 AM ET


7-15 would probably land us an elite goalie.

Posted by Jdunc from Flint, MI on 04/17/21 at 08:23 AM ET

We don’t need an elite goalie yet and no young goalie would realistically be ready for 3+ years. In that time span we can get more D or F that could play in 1-2 years.

There are enough goalies on the market to trade for or wait for their UFA.

Posted by retrospecd on 04/17/21 at 08:53 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

We don’t need an elite goalie yet and no young goalie would realistically be ready for 3+ years

So get a goalie now, and when they are ready, we will need a goalie? lol

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/17/21 at 08:54 AM ET

Paul's avatar

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today reassigned goaltender Kevin Boyle to the taxi squad from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins and reassigned goaltender Kaden Fulcher to the Griffins from the taxi squad.

Boyle, 28, has appeared in nine games with Grand Rapids this season, posting a 5-2-1 record, 2.84 goals-against average and 0.886 save percentage. The netminder signed with Detroit this offseason after spending four seasons in the Anaheim Ducks organization. He played 20 games for their AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, in 2019-20, posting a 9-7-2 record, 2.82 goals-against average and 0.911 save percentage. In 126 career AHL games, Boyle owns a 67-40-11 record, 2.72 goals-against average, 0.913 save percentage and two shutouts. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound netminder posted a shutout in his first NHL start with Anaheim on Feb. 13, 2019, stopping all 35 shots he faced against the Vancouver Canucks. In five career NHL appearances, Boyle is 1-3-0 with a 2.17 goals-against average and 0.928 save percentage.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/17/21 at 10:58 AM ET

The Meal's avatar

Some other poster pointed out that the Caps 1st round pick slots into a great grab-the-goalie-of-the-future-(hopefully) slot in the draft.

Goalies always a crapshoot at this age.  Even moreso this draft during The End of Times™.

Posted by The Meal from Firestone, CO on 04/17/21 at 11:01 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

7-15 would probably land us an elite goalie.

Posted by Jdunc from Flint, MI on 04/17/21 at 08:23 AM ET

I don’t thik I’ve ever seen mock drafts that are as different in their rankings as they are this year. And that’s especially true when it comes to the consensus “best goalie in the draft” – Jesper Wallstedt.

I’ve seen him rated as high as #2 and as low as #17. One site even had Sebastian Cossa rated ahead of him. But most have Wallstedt rated somewhere in the top 10.

Some other poster pointed out that the Caps 1st round pick slots into a great grab-the-goalie-of-the-future-(hopefully) slot in the draft.

Posted by The Meal from Firestone, CO

Even with the crazy differences in rankings, I don’t either Wallstedt or Cossa are going to be available if the Caps pick turns out to be in the 25-32 range (which is where I would think that pick will be). But with three second-round picks plus the Caps pick, there’s always the chance that Yzerman could move up in the draft order.

Whatever happens, it’s going to be a true crap shoot this year for all of the GMs no matter where they pick. So it’s nice to see the Wings with seven picks in the first three rounds.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/17/21 at 11:27 AM ET

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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