Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Thoughts On The GM

04/17/2022 at 6:36am EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings are a better team than when Yzerman returned from nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and in recognition of Tuesday's anniversary, here are 19 thoughts on how Yzerman has resurrected the franchise.

German engineering

No player has had more of an impact in a shorter amount of time than Moritz Seider, Yzerman’s first pick as Wings GM. Seider, who turned 21 on April 6, joined the lineup this season after spending 2020-21 in Sweden, where he established himself as an elite defenseman. Seider looks like a core piece to build around for the next decade, and if somehow he doesn't win rookie of the year, he can console himself knowing Yzerman didn't either.

Ray of light

Yzerman chose well again with his first-round pick in 2020, after what was a farce of a draft lottery. The Wings had the ignominy of being the only team eliminated from the playoffs when the NHL shuttered March 12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as they had locked into last place with a loss on March 10. But the NHL decided that the eight losers of a play-in round should also have a chance at drafting first, and so the New York Rangers went from the playoff bubble to winning the lottery, and the Wings went from 31st place to choosing fourth. Lucas Raymond, though, makes up for that, because he came in this season and showed right away he’s a top-line winger.

Famished for firsts

That’s 2-for-2 for Yzerman, with 2021 first-round Simon Edvinsson looking like he'll make it 3-for-3. It’s in such contrast to how the Wings had fared with first-round picks under former GM Ken Holland: Forward Evgeny Svechnikov (2015) wasn't re-signed, and defenseman Dennis Cholowski (2016) was given away in the expansion draft. That's two high picks gone with nothing in return. Michael Rasmussen (No. 9 in 2017) looks like he’ll be a solid third-line center but neither he nor Filip Zadina (No. 6 in 2018) have lived up to being top-10 picks.

read on (paid)

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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.