Recap: NHL Draft pick-by-pick analysis

By Eric Coughlin
The Detroit News
Quinn Hughes

1. Buffalo: Rasmus Dahlin, D, Sweden

A true generational defenseman, Dahlin has drawn several comparisons to former Red Wing great Nicklas Lidstrom. The Sabres will probably be expecting instant impact from the No. 1 overall pick with serious Rooking of The Year potential.

2. Carolina: Andrei Svechnikov, RW, Russia

Stepping right into the NHL will be Svechnikov, a hard-driving winger. He's got great offensive skills that will fit well with Carolina's talented young defensemen.

3. Montreal: Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C, Finland

A late riser, Kotkaniemi has a solid all-around game. Montreal needed a center, but he's not quite ready for the NHL just yet. 

4. Ottawa: Brady Tkachuk, LW, U.S.A.

From a hockey family, Tkachuk is a strong, physical skater. He joins his brother in the NHL.

5. Arizona: Barrett Hayton, C, Canada

Compared to Patrice Bergeron, Hayton is a harassing forechecker. He has all-around ability but was thought to go five or six picks later.

6. Detroit: Filip Zadina, RW, Czech Republic

It was a bit of a surprise Zadina was still on the board. He can score from all areas of the offensive zone, creating challenges for defenders. He scoring skill was too much for the Red Wings to pass up, even with the organizational need of a defenseman. Zadina prides himself on his shot and issued a warning before the draft to Montreal that if they didn't draft him at No. 3, he would "fill up their net."

7. Vancouver: Quinn Hughes, D, U.S.A.

The smooth-skating defenseman led Michigan to the Frozen Four last season. He’s very agile and is most comfortable with the puck on his stick. Hughes is a little small at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, but that is completely outweighed by his smarts on the ice.

8. Chicago: Adam Boqvist, D, Sweden

A creative defender, Boqvist plays a smart offensive game. He can be a real play-maker from the blue line and adds some sorely-needed youth to Chicago's defense.

9. New York Rangers: Vitali Kravtsov, RW, Russia

The Russian probably won't be in the NHL right away due to contract obligations in Europe, but the Rangers are convinced Kravtsov can be an elite scorer. He's great with the puck on his stick.

10. Edmonton: Evan Bouchard, D, Canada

A much sought-after right-handed defenseman, Bouchard has great size at 6-foot-2 and 196 pounds. He’s an all-around defenseman that can pass and plays with a lot of smarts. Bouchard doesn’t have elite speed, but he excels on the power play and brings a lot of scoring pop for a defenseman.

11. New York Islanders: Oliver Wahlstrom, RW, U.S.A.

Mentioned as a possible right wing, left wing or center, Wahlstrom has good size at 6-foot-1 and 198 pounds. He can score and skates well, tending to carry the puck into the zone instead of dumping. Wahlstrom is not overly-physical but a willing and able passer with versatile forward skills.

12. New York Islanders: Noah Dobson, D, Canada

An all-around defenseman, Dobson can move the puck and play point on the power play. He has a tall frame at 6-foot-3 and positions himself well on defense. Dobson has been shooting up draft boards over the last year.

13. Dallas: Ty Dellandrea, C, Canada

Playing for Flint in the OHL, Dellandrea has the reputation as a hard-working two-way center. He could be in the NHL in as soon as two years.

14. Philadelphia: Joel Farabee, LW, U.S.A.

Committed to play hockey at Boston University, Farabee is not the flashiest prospect, but he's a great penalty-killer. He plays a smart game with underrated hands.

15. Florida: Grigori Denisenko, LW, Russia

A great skater, Denisenko can drive well to the net and always seems to be at the right place at the right time. He can be a top-line player for the Panthers and isn't afraid to throw his body around.

16. Colorado: Martin Kaut, RW, Czech Republic

With a congenital heart condition, Kaut wasn't able to do physical testing at the combine. He's a two-way forward without elite offense, and he could eventually slot into the second line in Colorado.

17. New Jersey: Ty Smith, D, Canada

Another small defenseman, Smith can evade and elude forecheckers. His ability to move the puck out of the defensive zone is a major plus, but he could improve his scoring.

18. Columbus: Liam Foudy, C, Canada

With disruptive speed, Foudy makes the defense uncomfortable. He doesn't have high-end offensive ability, but he impressed scouts at the combine with physical prowess.

19. Philadelphia: Jay O'Brien, C, U.S.A.

A Providence hockey commit, O'Brien is an offensive center that could improve his speed. Once he matures physically, he could end up being a top one or two center for the Flyers.

20. Los Angeles: Rasmus Kupari, C, Finland

The second Finnish-born player taken in the draft, Kupari is a solid skater. His vision is a little suspect, so he could wind up out on the wing.

21. San Jose: Ryan Merkley, D, Canada

Considered a major risk, there's no doubt about Merkley's talent, but maturity issues abound. Scouts were concerned about his attitude, but his skill on the power play was too enticing.

22. New York Rangers: K'Andre Miller, D, U.S.A.

A great skater, Miller has good height at 6-foot-3. He can move the puck, and is an eager offensive contributor.

23. Anaheim: Isac Lundestrom, C, Sweden

With versatility, Lundestrom was a sought-after prospect. He's not flashy, and he won't be elite offensively, but he can play all three forward positions.

24. Minnesota: Filip Johansson, D, Sweden

A bit of a surprise, Johansson is a good skater, but he doesn't have any particular aspect of his game that is elite. A solid all-around game, he'll probably be an unspectacular minutes-eater in the NHL. 

25. St. Louis: Dominik Bokk, RW, Germany

The Blues got good value here, as Bokk was considered to be a top-15 pick. He's a scorer that could improve his speed.  

26. Ottawa: Jacob Bernard-Docker, D, Canada

A strong, efficient defenseman, Bernard-Docker is committed to North Dakota and could use the development. He's a good two-way player, but he hasn't started to fulfill his significant potential yet.

27. Chicago: Nicolas Beaudin, D, Canada

With great vision, Beaudin excels at finding his teammates. He's a little small, but he rocketed up draft boards over the last year.

28. New York Rangers: Nils Lundkvist, D, Sweden

A good puck-handler, Lundkvist isn't afraid to get physical. He won't score many goals, but his defensive potential is impressive.

29. Toronto: Rasmus Sandin, D, Sweden

The fifth Swedish defenseman selected, Sandin is a mobile, puck-moving defenseman. He won't be an elite defender, but if he matures physically he could surprise some.

30. Detroit: Joe Veleno, C, Canada

Considered a top-15 pick by most, Veleno is an all-around center that slid due to his lack of elite goal-scoring. Ken Holland was surprised he was still on the board and impressed by his speed, deciding to use the pick acquired from the Golden Knights in the Tomas Tatar trade.

31. Washington: Alexander Alexeyev, D, Russia

The Capitals have a reputation for supporting Russian players, and Alexeyev fits into their style of play. He doesn't play with enough intensity, but Washington can afford to be patient.


The puck drops on the NHL Draft on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Detroit Red Wings have two picks during the opening round – No. 6 and No. 30. Follow the draft here with live updates by Eric Coughlin of The Detroit News.

When: Friday (starts at 7:30 p.m.) and Saturday (11 a.m.)

Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas

TV: NBCSN Friday, NHL Network Saturday

Format: Round 1 Friday, Rounds 2-7 Saturday

Red Wings: They have 11 picks in the seven rounds – two in the first (Nos. 6, 30), two in the second (33, 36), three in the third (67, 81, 84), one in the fourth (98), none in the fifth, two in the sixth (159, 160) and one in the seventh (191).