The Detroit Red Wings, who won just 17 games in 2019-20, had a tough go at the NHL Draft lottery last month, getting bumped back as far as possible,
landing the fourth pick. They entered the event with 18.5% odds of winning the first overall pick, but the 15-team draw also included eight placeholders for the teams that are part of the 24-team “return to play” playoff scenario. One of those won the right to draft first overall.
General manager Steve Yzerman appeared calm after the disappointing show, but maybe that’s because it’s the fourth straight year the Wings have been bumped back.
Or maybe, it’s because they already know who they will pick with the fourth overall selection in October and feel confident with their choice. How do we know which player they look to select? Well, one of the best insider out there, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press has answered a mailbag on Thursday, hinting at the fact that Yzerman and his team could shock their fanbase once again this year, by selecting Yaroslav Askarov.
In 2019, everyone was surprised to see the Wings pick Moritz Seider with the sixth overall selection, he who was ranked to go somewhere in the teens. The same could happen in 2020 and St. James explains why:
“Askarov is the prize goaltender in the 2020 class, and the Wings do need one for the rebuild. Filip Larsson (a sixth-round pick from 2016) had been assessed as someone who had the potential to be their goaltender of the future.
There’s certainly time for him to right himself, but he struggled so much with Grand Rapids — where he entered the 2019-20 season expected to be the No. 1 goalie —that he played only seven games with the Griffins (4.01 goals-against average, .843 save percentage).”
We all love when teams go out of their way to find a talented player and give him a chance with a prestigious first round vote. The Wings do need to build a strong future in between the pipes and it could start at the draft later this year.