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That work also has paid off in the overall health of the franchise's farm system, it appears. The Sporting News cited the June draft haul in ranking the Red Wings' farm 10th in the NHL.
Four of the top six prospects in the Red Wings' system, according to Sporting News contributor Steve Kournianos, were plucked in the 2018 draft, including top two prospects Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno, forwards who were taken in the first round.
Zadina was drafted No. 6 overall, while Veleno was taken with the 30th overall pick.
"Isn't it amazing how one weekend at the draft can improve an organization's chances at being relevant again," writes Kournianos, the founder of TheDraftAnalyst.com. "... The thing is, Detroit's farm system before the 2018 draft already included solid pieces in two-way center Michael Rasmussen, puck movers Filip Hronek, Gustav Lindstrom and Dennis Cholowski, and goalie Filip Larsson. Now Holland added two potential franchise players in winger Filip Zadina and center Joe Veleno, plus roadrunner Jonatan Berggren."
That bolsters a rebuilding plan for a team that has missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons after 25 straight postseason appearances.
Berggren is No. 4 on Kournianos' Red Wings' prospect list, just after 2017 first-round pick Michael Rasmussen, a center. Hronek is No. 5, followed by another 2018 draft pick, defenseman Jared McIsaac. Lindstrom, forward Evgeny Svechnikov, Larsson and Cholowski (their 2016 first-round pick) round out the top 10.
The Buffalo Sabres, who added franchise defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with the No. 1 overall pick last June, top the Sporting News' rankings.