Red Wings' first pick: Last 20 players drafted 6th in NHL

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Go through the gallery as Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News breaks down the last 20 No. 6 picks of the NHL draft. The Red Wings have the No. 6 pick in the 2019 draft. Click here if you have trouble viewing the gallery.

The mood was anything but great surrounding Red Wings fans after the NHL draft lottery was held.

The Red Wings selected forward Filip Zadina with the No. 6 pick in last year's NHL Entry Draft.

The pingpong balls didn’t go the Wings’ way, luck wasn’t on their side, as the organization received the sixth overall pick (they had the fourth-worst record)

It was the second consecutive year the Wings fell into the sixth spot — they had the fifth from the bottom, record-wise, the year before.

But with the sixth pick in 2018, the Wings were able to nab forward Filip Zadina, who was projected to go several picks higher, but somehow fell into the Wings’ waiting arms.

Over the last 20 years, picking No. 6 hasn’t been the worst thing in the world for NHL teams.

Sure, there have been busts. But not many.

In fact, in recent years, there have been bona fide young impact players picked at No. 6 — Calgary has two in Matthew Tkachuk and Sean Monahan — along with top-pairing defensemen, which every team wants these days (Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Hampus Lindholm).

Zadina and Vegas forward Cody Glass, picked No. 6 in 2017, have yet to graduate to the NHL on a permanent basis.

But both are projected by scouts to be dangerous offensive players, capable of long, successful NHL careers.

What should help the Wings is the draft's depth.

While Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko have pulled away as the likely first two players picked, there remains a long list of prospects who are projected to be frontline NHL players.

And the Wings, theoretically, should be able to land one of them at No. 6.

Twitter: @tkulfan