Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

If The Wings Happened To Ge Lucky In The NHL Draft Lottery

05/03/2023 at 2:31pm EDT

from Max Bultman of The Athletic,

Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli have separated themselves as the odds-on favorites to be the top two picks in the draft, both fresh off dominant seasons at their respective levels. They project as serious difference-makers for whichever NHL clubs win the lottery to select them — and for the Red Wings, their odds are about 5 percent at each pick.

After the Red Wings have moved down, moved way down, or merely held their place in four straight draft lotteries, it’s fair to wonder if Yzerman even dares to dream about a big win at the lottery anymore.

But with the lottery coming up in less than a week, set for May 8, we broke down just what it would mean for Detroit to land one of the draft’s top two prizes, in both the short and long term.

How would Bedard and Fantilli fit?

While there is still theoretically a chance Fantilli could return to Michigan for his sophomore season — as did recent top-five picks Owen Power, Matty Beniers, Kent Johnson and Luke Hughes — none of those players had the freshman campaign Fantilli did.

In winning the Hobey Baker Award as the top men’s college player and leading the nation in scoring, Fantilli dominated and showed his physical readiness for the next level. Those decisions are, of course, a two-way street between player and team, but the franchise that drafts Fantilli should feel comfortable bringing him in, assuming he’s on board.

Meanwhile, Bedard looks like a lock to make the jump, simply because it’s hard to fathom what he might do in the WHL next season after potting 2.5 points per game this year — and nearly three per game in the playoffs.

read on ($)


You may have noticed the Detroit media have started to fall back on the end of the season interviews.

I've avoided posting them because I feel why read it again?

Here is Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News ($) on Joe Veleno.


I posted this elsewhere, but it's relevant here too:

The Wings problem is that getting that 2nd/3rd/4th/5th/6th best player (as opposed to actual pick order):

(2018 #1 was Andrei Svechnikov, #2 was Brady Tkachuk, #3 Quinn Hughes, #4 Rasmus Dahlin)

(2019 #1 was Hughes, #2 and #3 are debatable Cozens, Zegras, Seider, Boldy, or Caufield)

(2020 #1 was Stutzle, #2 is either Raymond or Dawson Mercer with d-man like Jake Sanderson known to take more time to develop coming on strong)

(2021 #1 was Matty Beniers, #2 cases made for McTavish, Wyatt Johnson, Power, Hughes. With a special shout out to Wings draft slot Aatu Raty and the failed Leddy deal.)

meant the Wings rebuild had a ceiling on how high it could rise. In other words, they never got that generational talent/NHL points leader that could carry the team.

Pittsburgh (Crosby)/Washington (Ovie)/Tampa (Stamkos)/Edmonton (McDavid)/Toronto (Matthews) all got these guys.

And all will continue to be rewarded until that hard cap causes the team to crash. So unless Detroit hits on that 5% or less chance in the 2023 NHL Draft lottery--buckle up it's going to continue to be a rough next 3 years. And even then not all "generational talents" produce Cups....hello Eric Lindros, McDavid, and Matthews.

So by all means hope for the best. But also remember that this is the last year the Wings huge advantage of cap space will be in effect. Next year it is estimated, the COVID cap escrow goes away and the cap will provide a relief to team up against it.

The NHL has projected that the cap will increase approximately $9.5M by 2025-26 (from this year’s $82.5M to $92M): $1M increase next year, a $4M-$4.5M increase the following season, plus another $4M-$4.5M increase for 2025-26.

That's a lot of GM's having significant money to spend at a time when the Wings need to take the next step. So if Detroit isn't active in UFA again this summer the rebuild may stretch for another 5 years.

The Wings have 8 roster spots and 30M to spend (minus Cheap Ilitch's self imposed cap) but need to save a chunk to ensure long-term contracts for Seider, Raymond, and maybe Rasmussen plus bridge deals for Veleno, Berggren.

But if they wait until next year the UFA market will have a lot more buyers. So NHL lottery draft is important and winning certainly would further this rebuild on by significant steps, but by playing themselves into a 5% chance the odds are significantly against them. And even SY can't count on preaching fan patience for a decade.


Good thoughtful post. I certainly will not argue with the majority of your  reasoning, however the one point I will make is that from all that I have read, this is a poor UFA market year. You can't  get blood from stone so that is a major limiting factor, no? That still leave the trade market and hopefully the small cap increase will put some teams in the position to let players go that they would like to keep.


I don't think it's as barren as you think...

There are some: RHD Matt Dumba, RHD John Klingberg, RHD Damon Severson, RHD Travis Hamonic, RHD Radko Gudas, Timo Meier, Jason Zucker, James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Motte, Vladimir Tarasenko, Max Domi, Sean Monahan, J.T. Compher, Max Pacioretty,Ivan Barbashev, Tyler Bertuzzi, Michael Bunting, Patrick Kane, Ryan O’Reilly. For Goalies: Joonas Korpisalo, Antti Raanta, Adin Hill seem like the ones that would accept backup 1B roles.


LOTS of miles on most of those retreads. Most of them are very high risk to flop.


Was the article written on April 1st?

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