NHL Draft Lottery has screwed Steve Yzerman's original plans for Red Wings

Detroit once again got no help in the Draft Lottery.



The good news for the Detroit Red Wings is that they've got themselves another top-10 selection in the upcoming National Hockey League Draft, which will take place at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN from June 28–29.

The bad news is that yet again, they were unable to have the hockey gods smile upon them when it came to finally getting the top overall selection. That collective groan you heard from across the state of Michigan last night was when the former Western Conference rival Chicago Blackhawks were awarded the top pick that is near 100% guaranteed to be used on Connor Bedard, perhaps the highest regarded prospect since Connor McDavid. 

Simply put, this is not how Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman envisioned things working out when he took over the reigns prior to the 2019-20 season (perhaps the most egregious example of their getting absolutely screwed in the NHL Draft Lottery). In fact, it was Yzerman himself who said in March that his plan was to rebuild the team through "high" draft selections. 

"My first three years ... trust me, that was the plan," Yzerman said. "Like, 'We’re not going to sign good players, we’re not going to take it to another level, we’re going to be at the bottom. We’re going to suck this up for a few years and get high picks.’"

And while Detroit has gotten a few solid pieces in the draft under Yzerman like Moritz Seider, Lucas Raymond, Marco Kasper and Simon Edvinsson, they've not been given the opportunity to draft a player viewed as a franchise altering superstar like Bedard. 

The highest they've selected under Yzerman is 4th overall, and that was after the 2019-20 season in which Detroit was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention in early February and posted the worst NHL record (17-49-5 prior to the COVID-19 shutdown) since the 1999-2000 expansion Atlanta Thrashers. In fact, Detroit has suffered the most losses of any NHL team combined since they last made the postseason in 2016, yet have dropped several spots in recent NHL lotteries: 

"So we gotta stick with it and we have to draft well," Yzerman said. "We have to get lucky on some occasions, maybe at some point here, maybe this year, get lucky in the lottery and that’ll speed it up a little bit."

But once again, no such luck came Detroit's way this year, as they landed the 9th overall selection. 

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks outright tanked for a single season, and were rewarded with the perceived generational talent that will be the new face of the franchise. Is it fair? Of course not. But then again, professional sports (and life, for that matter) rarely is. 

Source: Audacy