from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The 2018 draft saw the Wings cash in on the Tomas Tatar trade and use Vegas’ first-round pick into Joe Veleno, one of four picks the Wings made within the first 36 picks and among 10 total. Several of the draft picks figure to be a key part of the rebuild.
Here is a closer look at each selection.
F Filip Zadina...
Wingspan: Zadina, 20, made his 2019-20 season debut Nov. 24, called up after Anthony Mantha suffered an injury. Zadina earned his first point Nov. 30. He looked strong on the puck, figuring out how to make time and space for himself to make a play or take a good shot. From the time he was called up until he suffered a leg injury Jan. 31 (a span of 27 games), Zadina was tied for first on the team in goals (eight) and ranked third in points (15). He showed he belongs in the lineup, and that he can add a much-needed offensive boost.
F Joe Veleno...
Wingspan: Veleno, 20, endured growing pains, but that’s normal in a player’s first year of pro hockey. The Wings’ development staff emphasized Veleno work on the defensive side of his game, and that was a factor in his 11 goals and 12 assists in 54 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins. There’s no doubt he has high-end offensive instincts, but the Wings need Veleno to be a good two-way player to maximize where he slots into the rebuild.