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Tony Wolak The Hockey Writers

Published on Monday, June 1, 2020





Red Wings 7-Round Mock Draft

Now that it’s June, the Detroit Red Wings will finally get to find out where they’ll pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

The draft itself won’t take place until the 2019-20 season is concluded. However, it’s the first main item on the NHL’s updated agenda that the Red Wings will be participating in. So until then, we can get acquainted with a handful of prospects that Detroit could consider selecting in the upcoming draft.

The Red Wings have 10 picks to work with this year – one in each round, plus two additional seconds and another third-rounder. Using Draft Prospects Hockey’s new draft simulator, let’s take a look at who they could select with each draft choice. And as a bonus, I’ll also share who I ended up choosing as part of The Hockey Writers’ mock draft for comparison.

Related: 2020 NHL Draft Guide

Round 1 – No. 1

LW Alexis Lafreniere

  • Age: 18
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 192 pounds
  • 2020-21 Team (League): Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
  • THW Prospect Profile

2019-20 Stats:

  • Rimouski (QMJHL): 52 GP – 35 G – 77 A – 112 PTS
  • Canadian National Team (WJC): 5 GP – 4 G – 77 A – 10 PTS
Detroit Red Wings draft target Alexis Lafreniere
Lafreniere would be a huge boost for the Detroit’s rebuild. (Photo by Vincent Ethier/CHL)

Luckily for the Red Wings, my draft lottery simulation resulted in the franchise receiving the first-overall pick. With that, Alexis Lafreniere was the clear choice.

As the consensus best player in the draft, Lafreniere will be able to jump into Detroit’s lineup immediately – or as soon as Red Wings hockey resumes. He’s an elite talent, with superb hockey IQ, vision, creativity, and tenacity.

THW Mock Draft Selection: LW Alexis Lafreniere

Related: Lafreniere Would Significantly Alter Red Wings’ 2020-21 Outlook

Round 2 – No. 32

C/RW Jacob Perreault

  • Age: 18
  • Height: 5-foot-11
  • Weight: 198 pounds
  • 2020-21 Team (League): Sarnia Sting (OHL)
  • THW Prospect Profile

2019-20 Stats:

  • Sarnia (OHL): 57 GP – 39 G – 31 A – 70 PTS

With Detroit’s first second-round pick, I kept flip-flopping between Jacob Perreault and Brendan Brisson. Both are first-round talents. Perreault is more of a goal scorer, while Brisson’s calling card is his playmaking ability.

I ultimately opted to go with Perreault and his offensive firepower. The Red Wings need more finishers and that’s something Perreault brings to the table. 

“Perreault is a dynamic player. He makes elite plays and has one of the best shots in this draft. He can be so dangerous on a power play with his shot and pick corners from a distance, but he’s also a tremendous passer who makes unique plays.”

–Corey Pronman (from ‘Pronman’s 2020 NHL Draft Board: Top 122 prospects’ – The Athletic NHL – 5/27/20)

Emil Andrae would also provide good value in this draft slot. That said, offense should be the priority early on for the Red Wings.

THW Mock Draft Selection: LD Emil Andrae

Round 2 – No. 51 (from Edmonton)

C Vasili Ponomaryov

  • Age: 18
  • Height: 6-foot-0
  • Weight: 176 pounds
  • 2020-21 Team (League): Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
  • THW Prospect Profile

2019-20 Stats:

  • Shawinigan (QMJHL): 57 GP – 18 G – 31 A – 49 PTS
  • Russia National Team U-18: 12 GP – 4 G – 8 A – 12 PTS
Vasily Ponomaryov could be a good fit for the Detroit Red Wings.
Vasily Ponomaryov playing for the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes. (Photo: Olivier Croteau)

Even in the middle of the second round, there was still a good amount of talent on the board. Shawinigan center Vasili Ponomaryov was the choice, over the likes of Kasper Simontaival, Carter Savoie, Jean-Luc Foudy, and Ty Smilanic. Luckily, the Red Wings pick again soon, so there’s no need to fret over any lost opportunity.

In Ponomaryov, the Red Wings get a skilled, playmaking center with second-line potential. Scouts differ on his skating ability, but agree he can be elusive and is an excellent puckhandler with a heavy shot. Ponomaryov also has a high compete level and can be depended on in the defensive zone.

THW Mock Draft Selection: LW Carter Savoie

Round 2 – No. 58 (from Washington)

RW Kasper Simontaival

2019-20 Stats:

  • Tappara (Jr. A SM-liiga): 48 GP – 25 G – 32 A – 57 PTS
  • Tappara (Liiga): 4 GP – 0 G – 0 A – 0 PTS
  • KOOVEE (Mestis): 6 GP – 1 G – 3 A – 4 PTS
  • Finland National Team U-18: 8 GP – 8 G – 6 A – 14 PTS

Skilled and slippery, Kasper Simontaival is an undersized offensive dynamo and also slipped to the Red Wings at No. 58. He has a slick shot and above-average hockey IQ. 

“He’s got a very quick stick and can beat defenders with his skill. I wouldn’t call him a top playmaker, but he can find the seams on the ice well and flash high-end vision.”

–Corey Pronman (from ‘Pronman’s 2020 NHL Draft Board: Top 122 prospects’ – The Athletic NHL – 5/27/20)

Simontaival is a Steve Yzerman pick through and through. He excels defensively and competes well against players much larger than him. He can also be trusted on the penalty kill and in the defensive zone. But overall, Simontaival is a well-rounded player—albeit an undersized one—with an intriguing skill set.

THW Mock Draft Selection: LW/RW Daniil Gushchin

Related: The Grind Line: Red Wings Mock Draft Analysis

Round 3 – No. 63

LW/RW Daniel Torgersson

  • Age: 18
  • Height: 6-foot-3
  • Weight: 205 pounds
  • 2020-21 Team (League): Frolunda HC (SHL)
  • THW Prospect Profile

2019-20 Stats:

  • Frolunda HC J20 (SuperElit): 39 GP – 26 G – 18 A – 44 PTS
  • Frolunda HC (SHL): 6 GP – 0 G – 0 A – 0 PTS
  • Frolunda HC J18 (J20 Elit): 1 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS
  • Frolunda HC J18 (J20 Allsvenskan): 4 GP – 6 G – 4 A – 10 PTS
  • Sweden National Team U-18: 13 GP – 5 G – 5 A – 10 PTS

Though not as polished as Detroit’s other selections so far, Daniel Torgersson is a power forward with potential to be a middle-six contributor. He plays a heavy game and is difficult to contain down low.

In addition to his size, Torgersson skates well and has decent hands. While the likes of Simontaival and Carter Savoie are skilled perimeter players, Torgersson can do the dirty work around the net and bang home goals. His production speaks for itself – Torgersson has produced at every level so far playing a coachable style of hockey.

THW Mock Draft Selection: C/RW Sean Farrell

Round 3 – No. 65 (from San Jose)

LD Alexander Nikishin

  • Age: 18
  • Height: 6-foot-3
  • Weight: 196 pounds
  • 2020-21 Team (League): Spartak Moskva (KHL)
  • THW Prospect Profile

2019-20 Stats:

  • Spartak Moskva (KHL): 29 GP – 0 G – 3 A – 3 PTS
  • Khimik Voskresensk (VHL): 2 GP – 0 G – 0 A – 0 PTS
  • MHK Spartak Moskva (MHL): 6 GP – 0 G – 3 A – 3 PTS

Finally, a defenseman! In this mock draft, I waited until the third round to draft a blueliner, but for good reason: Detroit drafted *all* the defensemen last year. With a relatively weak defensive class and Moritz Seider, Antti Tuomisto, Albert Johansson, Cooper Moore, and Gustav Berglund all completing their draft-plus-one years, the Red Wings can prioritize forwards early on in the 2020 draft.

In Alexander Nikishin, the Red Wings would get a seasoned, well-rounded defenseman who spent the majority of his draft year playing against men in the KHL. There’s nothing particularly flashy about Nikishin’s game – he just makes smart, efficient plays. He won’t score much, but is dependable in his own end and can use his size to his advantage. Nikishin would pair well with an offensively inclined players like Tuomisto or Filip Hronek.

THW Mock Draft Selection: LW/C Antonio Stranges

Round 4 – No. 113

LD Daemon Hunt

  • Age: 18
  • Height: 6-foot-0
  • Weight: 198 pounds
  • 2020-21 Team (League): Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
  • THW Prospect Profile

2019-20 Stats:

  • Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL): 28 GP – 0 G – 15 A – 15 PTS
Daemon Hunt of the Moose Jaw Warriors could be a good fit for the Detroit Red Wings.
Daemon Hunt rushing the puck up ice for the Moose Jaw Warriors. (Nick Pettigrew)

If Daemon Hunt falls to the fourth round, the Red Wings should take a flier on the defenseman. Hunt missed most of his draft year after sustaining a deep cut from a skate blade. But when healthy, he has NHL potential.

“Big-bodied two-way defensemen will always have a place in the NHL. If Hunt can continue to fill out his physical form and develop his overall game, he could easily become a top-four minute-munching defenseman who finds time on the power play.”

–Eugene Helfrick, THW

With some more seasoning, Hunt could be a steal for the Red Wings at this stage of the draft. If he’s not available at No. 113, players like Maxim Groshev or Ian Moore would be nice additions as well.

THW Mock Draft Selection: G Calle Clang

Round 5 – No. 125

RW Ryder Rolston

  • Age: 18
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 174 pounds
  • 2020-21 Team (League): Notre Dame (NCAA)

2019-20 Stats:

  • Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL): 42 GP – 16 G – 17 A – 33 PTS

There’s a lot to like about Ryder Rolston’s game. He has a great shot, skates very well, and has displayed above-average hockey IQ so far in his career. But there’s still work to be done as Rolston advances to higher levels. He’s headed to Notre Dame next season, where he’ll compete with college hockey’s best. If he can consistently produce there, Rolston could turn into a nice depth piece at the NHL level.

THW Mock Draft Selection: RW Alex Laferriere

Round 6 – No. 156

G Jan Bednar

  • Age: 17
  • Height: 6-foot-4
  • Weight: 187 pounds
  • 2020-21 Team (League): HC Energie Karlovy Vary (Czech)
  • THW Prospect Profile

2019-20 Stats:

  • HC Energie Karlovy Vary (Czech): 13 GP – 4.39 GAA – .884 SV%
  • HC Banik Sokolov (Czech2): 24 GP – 3.26 GAA – .873 SV%
  • Czech Republic National Team U-18: 12 GP – 3.21 GAA – .892 SV%
Detroit Red Wings could pick Jan Bednar in the 2020 NHL Draft.
Jan Bednar is raw, but has NHL potential. (

Jan Bednar might be gone by the time we reach the sixth round, but in my mock draft, he was not, which made for an easy decision to select him. The Czech goaltender’s stats don’t paint a great picture. But then again, you can’t judge a goalie on stats alone.

When watching Bednar, his strong lateral pushes stand out immediately. He’s able to move around the crease well for a big goalie, though he still needs to learn how to be more efficient with his movements. He can over-slide at times due to his strength and size, but the explosiveness is there.

He can also be a little slow to recover from an initial shot or sequence if the play continues on. Bednar will need to learn how to read scramble situations better and react accordingly. That said, the raw skills and intangibles are there.

THW Mock Draft Selection: LW/RW Maxim Beryozkin

Round 7 – No. 187

C Oliver Tarnstrom

  • Age: 17
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 163 pounds
  • 2020-21 Team (League): AIK J20 (SuperElit)

2019-20 Stats:

  • AIK J20 (SuperElit): 41 GP – 11 G – 23 A – 34 PTS
  • AIK (Allsvenskan): 8 GP – 0 G – 0 A – 0 PTS
  • AIK J18 (J18 Elit): 1 GP – 1 G – 0 A – 1 PTS
  • AIK J18 (J18 Allsvenskan): 2 GP – 0 G – 6 A – 6 PTS
  • Sweden National Team U-18: 3 GP – 0 G – 0 A – 0 PTS

Moving into the final round, the Red Wings should continue to look for raw players with interesting skill sets. Oliver Tarnstrom could be a good find this late in the game given his size and production. He can also distribute the puck well, but is certainly a long-shot to make the NHL.

THW Mock Draft Selection: C Oliver Tarnstrom

Final Word

In this mock, I selected seven forwards, two defensemen, and a goalie on behalf of the Red Wings. With a plethora of blueliners already in the pipeline and the fact that the 2021 NHL Draft will have a strong defensive class, Detroit can prioritize impact forwards this year.

Clearly, Lafreniere is a huge addition for the rebuilding franchise. But the other selections help the Red Wings add great depth up front. Overall, we’ll start to see an impressive group of prospects rise through Detroit’s ranks in the near future.

Stats courtesy of Eliteprospects.

The post Red Wings 7-Round Mock Draft appeared first on The Hockey Writers.

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