Detroit — Growing up, Dominic Turgeon always knew he wanted to be an NHL hockey player growing up.
His father, Pierre, was a 19-year veteran in the league — and the first overall pick in the 1987 draft — and Dominic essentially grew up in NHL locker rooms throughout North America.
On Saturday, the Red Wings pushed Dominic’s dream forward, drafting him in the third-round of the NHL entry draft.
“Very exciting,” Dominic said of the feeling, having just completed an NHL Network television interview alongside his father. “It’s an incredible feeling. Being drafted, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, it’s something that’s been a dream of mine.”
Turgeon was a player the Red Wings had targeted but weren’t sure they’d have an opportunity to select.
They didn’t have a second-round pick. Once the draft entered the third round, the Red Wings made a trade with Columbus, giving the Blue Jackets their own third-round pick (76th overall) and a 2015 third-round pick to move up to Columbus’ spot at 66 to get Turgeon.
“He’s a player we really liked,” said Tyler Wright, the Red Wings’ director of amateur scouting.
The feeling was mutual, for Turgeon, in terms of an organization he wanted to play for.
“They’re such a great organization, they’ve had incredible success,” said Turgeon, whose uncle, Sylvain, also enjoyed a 12-year NHL career. “You look at the all the players they’ve had over the years, it’s just an honor to be part of that.”
Dominic is a different player from his father.
While Pierre was more of an offensive threat (1,327 points), Dominic is more of a solid, two-way center who does have his father’s first-rate instincts but also is better defensively.
“He has the hockey sense you look for in players,” Wright said.
Most projections had Turgeon likely being selected in the second round, so falling into the third round was a bit of a letdown for him.
But Dad had advice for his son.
“Just enjoy the day,” Dominic said, recalling the conversation. “Just be yourself and enjoy the day because it’s a special moment.
“It’s been an exciting day.”
Another father/son combo
Former Red Wings forward Doug Brown saw his son, Christopher, get drafted Saturday in Philadelphia.
Christopher, a center at Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, and was drafted in the sixth-round by the Buffalo Sabres.
Brown is headed to play at Boston College, where Doug also played.
Kicking the tires
With Bill Peters having been named the new head coach in Carolina, there’s a “Help Wanted” sign for a Red Wings assistant coach. General manager Ken Holland and coach Mike Babcock both said they are “kicking tires” and accumulating available names, but there have been no interviews.
Holland reiterated Jeff Blashill, who served as Babcock’s assistant three seasons ago before being named head coach at minor-league affiliate Grand Rapids, will remain with the Griffins.
Tom Renney will remain an associate coach on Babcock’s staff.
Where they're from
Canada once again produced the majority of the 210 players drafted.
The United States and Sweden were next, with the USA’s total of 67 players representing a best-ever percentage (32 percent).
The final breakdown: Canada 77 players, United States 67, Sweden 27, Russia 13, Finland 9, Czech Republic 8, Latvia 2, Switzerland 2, United Kingdom 2, Denmark 1, Germany 1, Slovakia 1.