Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Beat Writers Playing The What If Game

07/02/2021 at 10:24am EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

In previous Free Press mock drafts, the Wings have taken center Mason McTavish and goaltender Jesper Wallstedt with their first pick in 2021. In this edition, Yzerman goes for another player who projects to help the Wings become more productive — especially when most needed.

F Dylan Guenther
Size: 6 feet 1, 181 pounds

Buzz: Guenther, 18, is a dual threat as a shooter and passer — he had 26 goals and 33 assists for the Oil Kings in 2019-20. He has a hard, accurate shot but is also a superb playmaker who finds passing lanes, even in tough situations. He’s good without the puck, too, possessing a knack for getting open for a breakout pass. He's also a deceptively good skater. This past season was a small sample, with just 24 games played for Guenther. But in 2019-20, he scored eight power play goals, and the year before that, he scored two of his three goals during man advantages in eight appearances with the Oil Kings.

Why he makes sense: Guenther is a top-notch shooter from anywhere, but as a right-shot, he’s especially at home in the left circle. His prowess on the power play is a huge asset for a team that has struggled as much with man advantages as the Wings have. Their conversion rate of 15.2% over the past three seasons ranks 30th out of 31 teams. This past season, the Wings scored 17 times on 149 man-advantage situations, an 11.4% rate. Even before losing Tyler Bertuzzi at the end of January, the conversion rate was only 11.8%.

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from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Let's examine this year's second round and highlight players who appear to be good fits for the Wings:

Zach Dean, center/wing, 6-foot, 183 pounds, Gatineau (QMJHL): There’s a good chance Dean might be available when the Wings pick and he is considered a player who could develop into a steal.

Nobody has doubted Dean’s talent level. It’s just that consistency has been an occasional issue and production isn’t what was expected. Dean had 20 points in 23 games in the Quebec junior league this season, which are good but not eye-popping numbers. He just needs to put it all together.

Dylan Duke, center/wing, 5-10, 181, U.S. National Team Development Program: Many evaluators believe Duke has the determination and competitiveness to someday reach the NHL, never mind the obstacles put before him. Duke is headed to Michigan, where he’ll have ample opportunity to develop his skill level.

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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.

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