from Chris Gear of the Daily Faceoff,
The Wings are another team long overdue for a breakout. After 25 consecutive playoff appearances between 1989-90 and 2015-16, the Wings have embarked on a six-year stretch where they have not finished higher than 25th overall (the place they currently occupy in 2021-22). The run of poor results includes the dreadful 2019-20 season during which they finished 17-49-5.
Unlike the Sabres, the Wings absolutely have to look at their drafting as a reason for their poor recent showing. Between 2012 and 2018, the only impact players selected by the Wings in any round were Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi in 2013, Dylan Larkin in 2014 and Filip Hronek in 2016. Otherwise, there have been an awful lot of misses on the Red Wings’ draft boards. First-round picks during that stretch that have made the NHL but with very limited impact include Evgeny Svechnikov, Dennis Cholowski, Michael Rasmussen and Filip Zadina.
You simply can’t afford to have mediocre first-round draft results and expect to rise from the bottom of the league standings.
Zadina may still turn into a nice NHL player, but he won’t likely ever be a player of the magnitude of Quinn Hughes, the player Detroit passed on to take Zadina, despite Hughes playing under Detroit’s noses at University of Michigan.
Whatever ailed Detroit’s scouting for those years seems to have been a blip, as the Wings nailed their first-round selections in each of 2019 and 2020. In 2019, the Wings picked German defenseman Moritz Seider well above where experts predicted he would be selected. That proved to be a brilliant pick, as Seider has had an impressive first campaign that may very well earn him a Calder Trophy as top rookie.
more, Gear also looks at the Sabres...
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