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Ted Kulfan's top Red Wings prospects

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Anthony Mantha

Go through the gallery above (mobile users can go HERE) to see an analysis on the top 15 prospects in the Red Wings organization, according to Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News.

Detroit – Drafting the right players is more important than ever in today’s NHL.

Rarely do elite, franchise-turning players reach free agency these days, as teams are locking in those stars with lengthy contracts.

So, for a team to stay in playoff contention for multiple years, it’s important to draft the right players and cultivate them into professionals.

The Red Wings have done a good job of finding such players without high picks, reaching the playoffs 25 consecutive seasons while making hay in the lower rounds.

“The salary cap in 2005 changed the game,” said general manager Ken Holland. “Ten years ago there were some dynasties. Detroit had a dynasty, Dallas had a dynasty, New Jersey had a dynasty, Colorado.

“Those are the teams that competed for Cups. There’s 30 teams competing for the Stanley Cup now, so the times have changed dramatically. We’ve made the playoffs 25 straight years. With that comes drafting right. You need stars.”

The Red Wings have had draft success in recent years with players such as Dylan Larkin (2014, first round), Andreas Athanasiou (2012, third round) and Petr Mrazek (2010, fifth round), while also striking gold with undrafted free agent Danny DeKeyser (2013).

There appears to be other impactful young players on the way.

Anthony Mantha and Evgeny Svechnikov both made the Hockey News’ list of top 50 prospects in the game – Mantha was 27th and Svechnikov 28th – by a panel of NHL scouts.

Both are big wingers with elite offensive instincts, and could be the type of game-changers that could keep the Red Wings competitive into the next decade. But there are others to keep an eye on, as well.