Red Wings add 'good balance,' 11 picks on busy second day of draft

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — Wake up, the NHL Entry Draft is finally over.

And the Red Wings are happy with that fact – and the way it turned out for them.

In a draft that lasted approximately seven hours – which has to be some sort of second-day record – the Wings added 11 players to forward Lucas Raymond, who was drafted Tuesday in the first-round.

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"That was a long day, wasn't it," said general manager Steve Yzerman of the marathon day. "Fortunately we had 12 picks so we were relatively busy through it all. All of you that stuck around, I commend you."

The Wings added two picks after making trades with Minnesota, Vegas and St. Louis during the day — although the Vegas traded netted a 2022 fourth-round pick — and gave themselves the larger number of draft picks they need to accelerate and bolster the rebuild.

William Wallinder was the Red Wings' first pick of the second round.

Yzerman, after a long day, was pleased with the way it ended.

"The accumulation of 12 picks and players we liked in those particular spots, everyone feels pretty good," Yzerman said. "We were able to add 12 prospects. Hopefully a few of them become NHL players someday."

This was the first virtual draft in the NHL because of the pandemic, and Yzerman was satisfied with how it went. There were minimal glitches with the broadcast, and teams selected smoothly - albeit slowly.

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"I don't think there was any hiccups," Yzerman said. "At least technically. We got it done."

There was a balance between forwards and defense, which wasn't intended, but the Wings were pleased with it.

“I look at the balance of the picks and I’m comfortable with that,” Yzerman said. “It’s not the biggest priority, we want to get the best prospects available, but I’m OK with the balance.

"We're pleased we're developing a pool of prospects and now they have to get to the NHL. We have good prospects we feel good about. But we have to get them to the NHL."

The Wings need help at every position after having the NHL’s worst record — and they drafted for help in every department:

►Forwards: Theodor Niederbach (second-round, 51st overall), Cross Hanas (second-round, 55th overall), Sam Stange (fourth-round, 97th overall), Chase Bradley (seventh-round, 203rd overall) and Kienan Draper (seventh-round, 187th overall).

Red Wings draft pick Lucas Raymond, left, is pursued by Slovakia's Michal Beno during the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Edmonton, Alberta.

Yes, Draper’s son, who used to bounce around the Red Wings’ locker room at Joe Louis Arena back in the day.

►Defensemen: William Walinder (second-round, 32nd overall), Donovan Sebrango (third-round, 63rd overall), Eemil Viro (third-round, 70th overall), Alex Cotton (fifth-round, 132nd overall) and Kyle Aucoin (sixth-round, 156th overall).

►Goaltender: Jan Bednar (fourth-round, 107th overall).

These were the Wings’ trades:

Trading the 125th (a fifth-round) pick to Vegas in exchange for a 2022 fourth-round pick.

The Wings dealt a third-round pick (65th overall) to Minnesota for picks No. 70 (third-round) and No. 132 (fourth-round).

With the day almost ending, the Wings acquired a seventh-round pick (203rd), in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2021.

Kris Draper, director of amateur scouting, was excited about the additions to the organization.

“We’re excited, it was a long day, but we feel we touched on a lot of needs,” Draper said. “We felt we had good balance of what we added to the organization and in what we’ve added with the positional players. We’re proud of the selections we made and now the work starts.”

Yzerman wanted to accumulate more picks, more chances to add depth in the organization, and it appeared it was a task accomplished.

“It seemed like I made 10 trades, and we made four,” Yzerman said. “It was busy. Last night was relatively quiet after we made our pick. Today was busy, but I was pleased we were able to move back and get extra picks.”

Twitter: @tkulfan