Wings don't get Jack; team lands 6th pick in NHL Draft Lottery

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Red Wings didn’t get much luck during the regular season — and it continued into Tuesday’s NHL Draft Lottery.

The Wings had the fourth-best odds of landing the first overall pick — and wound up getting bumped back for the third consecutive year.

Ken Holland

They’ll pick sixth at the June 21 Entry Draft in Vancouver (rounds 2-7 are June 22).

The New York Rangers and Chicago both defied the odds and moved into the top three, although it’ll be the New Jersey Devils, who had the third-best odds and won the lottery to pick first overall.

The Rangers will pick second, and Chicago moved all way from 12th-best odds (2.5 percent) to pick third in the Entry Draft.

The Wings, who finished fourth from the bottom in the NHL overall standings, had a 9.5-percent chance of getting the first pick — 28.8 percent of picking in the top three.

And neither happened.

Instead, the Wings are picking sixth for the second consecutive year.

Last year, the Wings selected forward Filip Zadina with the sixth pick.

General manager Ken Holland — who represented the organization at the draft lottery in Toronto — said Monday at the Red Wings’ locker cleanout, regardless of where the Wings wound up picking, there was a good chance of drafting a player who will help the team soon. 

“Certainly, the focus is on the top end of the draft and getting a star, maybe a superstar player,” Holland said. “Hopefully, we get lucky in the lottery and we get a high pick. But we’re going to add another good player and I’m excited.”

The Wings also possess three second-round picks — their own, plus San Jose’s (acquired this season for Gustav Nyquist at the trade deadline) and the New York Islanders’ (via Vegas, in the Tomas Tatar trade).

If the Wings want to move up in the draft or acquire other assets, they will have the capability to do so with the extra picks.

“We have lots of options heading into the draft,” Holland said. “We’re going to add a lot of good, young players.”

Fans were giddy heading into the lottery about the opportunity the Wings had if they were to land in the top three selections.

There are, generally considered, three players who’ve moved ahead of others in this draft: Forward Jack Hughes, out of the Plymouth Township-based USA National Development Team Program; forward Kaapo Kakko, out of Finland; and Russian forward Vasili Podkolzin.

Many scouts have called Hughes, an offensive machine who plays the game fast, a “generational” player.

Hughes will now likely head to New Jersey, playing with star winger Taylor Hall, whom Hughes said during the draft lottery telecast, he skates with during the summer.

The Wings will have their choice among a group of players who will be heavily scrutinized in the coming weeks.

Forward Trevor Zegras (NTDP), forward Dylan Cozens (Lethbridge, WHL), forward Kirby Dach (Saskatoon, WHL), defenseman Bowen Byram (Vancouver, WHL), forward Matthew Boldy (NTDP), defenseman Victor Soderstrom (Sweden) and forward Alex Turcotte (NTDP) are generally considered in the group behind the top three.

NHL draft order

1. New Jersey Devils

2. New York Rangers

3. Chicago Blackhawks

4. Colorado Avalanche (from Ottawa Senators)

5. Los Angeles Kings

6. Detroit Red Wings

7. Buffalo Sabres

8. Edmonton Oilers

9. Anaheim Ducks

10. Vancouver Canucks

11. Philadelphia Flyers

12. Minnesota Wild

13. Florida Panthers

14. Arizona Coyotes

15. Montreal Canadiens

* Remainder of NHL Draft order will be determined by playoffs.