May 2, 2017
Detroit Red Wings
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<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>OldNYIfan</b></div><div>It's no surprise who you (or anyone else) would take at #2. What I want to know is who you're thinking about at #4.</div></div>
At #4, I would expect Hughes, Kakko, and Podkolzin to be gone. Then if Buffalo wants to move up one spot by giving the Wings their other 1st round pick (via St Louis), I do that trade in a heartbeat. Otherwise I would take Cozens. He fits the Wings profile of drafting Centers with a high hockey IQ ithat can also play the Wing. Being very fast, big, and a right handed shot is another enticing piece to add to this roster.
The following lines, if not this coming year, will probably be in place for the 2020-21 season, should give opposing teams fits with their skill and speed.
Bertuzzi - Larkin - Mantha
Hirose - AA - Cozens
Ras - Veleno - Zadina
All that most see on Defense are the aging vets, but I also see promise and depth coming by 2020-21 (Cholowski in 2019-20, McIsaac, Sulak, and Lindstrom) including a potential stud UFA defenseman in Trouba.
My thoughts are around setting up the roster for 2020 opening day and taking into account all of the expiring contracts on D: Kronwall, Green, Daley and Ericsson. I'm hoping that the rumors of Trouba joining the Wings in 2020 come true. There will be a huge influx of young talent on defense that will probably have some of them get a sniff of playing in the NHL in 2019 due to injuries. I would be very happy with the following defensive pairs in 2020:
Dekeyer - Trouba
Cholowski - Hamilton
Sulak - Hronek
Until after the 2019 draft, I really can't figure out who will be on the opening day roster for 2020 other than Larkin, AA, Mantha, Bertuzzi, Rasmussen, Zadina and probably a bunch of underperforming 4th liners: Abby, Helm, Glendening, Ehn, de La Rose, and Nielsen. The Wings really need another high end Center as well as Veleno in their top-9. AA may end up in that role, but I would prefer that he stays on the wing, only moving to center when injuries happen.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quote:</div>You're basically asking Philly to give up a 1st rounder for an old Howard and scraps.</div>
Detroit's problem wasn't with the goalie, as their horrible defense left Howard and Mrazek out to dry on many occasions, and they couldn't score if their life depended on it. They are needing a full rebuild and shedding the albatross contracts of Helm, Abdelkader, Nyquist, Ericsson, Kronwall, etc.
Even though Philly didn't make the playoffs this year, their poor goal-tending certainly didn't help. Even at 33, Howard (2.1 GAA and .910 SV%) certainly played better than Mason (2.66 GAA and .908 SV%) and Neuvirth (2.82 GAA and .890 SV%). Philly has a good young corp on D (Gudas, Manning, Ghost and Provorov) and at forward (Giroux, Voracek, Schenn, Coutourier, Simmonds, etc. ), as well as prospects in the pipeline. I'm assuming they are going to get Nolan Patrick in this year's draft to add to that core. IMO they are ready to take that next step into the playoffs, and they need a decent goalie to put them into contention.
As far as calling Smith and the 2018 3rd round pick (in a strong draft) scraps, Givani Smith was selected at #46 in the second round last year. He looks and plays like a young Wayne Simmonds, which happens to be who he patterns his game on. IMO the only reason he fell into the second round was that he played on a horrible team in juniors. If he would have played on a decent team, he would have been a high second or even a late first rounder not much behind Robstov. Detroit needs a center prospect more than a wing, especially with Zetterberg on his last legs.