ESPN: Red Wings' prospects pipeline 15th in NHL
The Detroit Red Wings 2019-20 season likely will be another one of rebuilding, only under new leadership that has a familiar face in general manager Steve Yzerman.
So, while there's plenty of interest in what the Wings might do this season, there's always going to be interest in who might be coming to Detroit in the near future.
ESPN weighed in Wednesday with its NHL prospect pipeline rankings, slotting the Red Wings at No. 15 in the 31-team league.
"The Red Wings have been doing some significant work on their prospect system over the past two drafts and in the free-agent market," writes Chris Peters, an NHL draft and prospects analyst for ESPN. "The top of the system is loaded with talent and players who have room to develop and grow."
That "significant work" included a pair of first-round picks in 2018 (forwards Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno), compiling 11 picks in seven rounds of the 2019 draft, topped by defenseman Moritz Seider at No. 6 overall, and scooping up forward Taro Hirose as an undrafted free agent.
Zadina, Veleno and Seider are the Wings' top three prospects, respectively, according to Peters, while Hirose is No. 10 after tallying seven points (six assists) in 10 games with the Wings last season, following a standout career at Michigan State.
"... Hirose was a breath of fresh air at the end of the season as he showcased NHL abilities after a standout collegiate season," Peters writes.
Peters labels Zadina, Veleno and Seider as "A tier" prospects — players who "have a likelihood of becoming NHL high-impact players."
Like Hirose, Zadina also spent some time with the Wings last season, with a goal and two assists in nine games with Detroit. He, like, Seider, was a No. 6 overall pick.
"Now the team needs to see Filip Zadina make the jump to the NHL," Peters writes, "along with continued improvement from Joseph Veleno and surprise 2019 top pick Moritz Seider. The German defenseman has a host of developmental options in front of him this year. The Wings still have more building to do, but they have some potential future core pieces here."
The New York Rangers top ESPN's rankings.