The Detroit Red Wings are approaching the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. The team holds the eighth overall draft pick and is looking to add another top-ten talent to the roster who can be an impactful player for the team moving forward. The rebuild is continuing on for the team, but another strong draft season will give it a nice boost.
Detroit Red Wings General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman has been at the helm of draft day since re-joining the organization and has done an exceptional job. The first selection Yzerman made was the sixth-overall pick in 2018, Moritz Seider, who collected some hardware with a Calder Trophy win in 2021-22.
In the last few seasons, the draft has been a time where Yzerman gets to work. Between trades and doing his research, he’s gotten the job done. Last season, he picked up Swedish defenseman Simon Edvinsson with the sixth-overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. He’s now headed to North America, looking to make the roster out of training camp.
But that’s not all; he went out and traded the second pick the Red Wings had in the first round to grab goaltender Sebastian Cossa with the 15th overall draft choice. Now, Cossa is fresh off a WHL Championship, looking to continue his road to Hockeytown.
The drafts of recent years have panned out well for the Red Wings. There’s plenty of talent out there for the Red Wings in 2022’s draft class.
Detroit Red Wings will have plenty of talent to choose from at eighth overall.
With the team picking eighth, there will be plenty of names off the board, but a lot of talent will still be available. The Red Wings should consider these three players if they are available when the team is on the clock at pick number eight.
1 The Detroit Red Wings should consider drafting, Matthew Savoie – Center, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
If the Detroit Red Wings want to add a smaller forward with serious scoring upside, look no further than Matthew Savoie. While some may see him as undersized at 5-foot-9, 179 pounds, he will be just fine down the line. He takes after his brother Carter Savoie, a talented source of offense for the University of Denver in 2021-22.
Savoie is coming off of a 2021-22 season with the Winnipeg Ice of the WHL, where Savoie played in 65 games, managing 35 goals and 55 assists for a total of 90 points on the season. When the postseason rolled around, Savoie managed six goals and six assists for 12 total points over ten games played.
Before his time in the WHL, Savoie was able to find success in the USHL, potting 21 goals and adding 17 assists for 38 points over 35 games played during the 2020-21 campaign. He’s shifty and slick with the puck. He finds ways to break through the defense and get himself in on the goalie.
Besides that, he’s quick and can create open space for himself, making him a threat whenever he gets into the offensive zone. He’s a heads-up guy, so he knows when to attack through the defense, opt to pull up and use his plus-skating to create space, or when to let it rip and hope for high-danger scoring chances in the form of rebounds.
He’s a smart player, and the stats back up his offensive mindset. Stamping a worrisome grade on him due to his size is a bad idea. He’s ranked as high as sixth on some lists but could very well fall with his undersized look. The Detroit Red Wings should be in on Savoie and be looking to select him if the opportunity is there at eight.
2 The Detroit Red Wings should consider drafting, Conor Geekie – Center, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
One of Savoie’s teammates in the WHL with the Winnipeg Ice is Conor Geekie. The brother of Seattle Kraken forward, Morgan Geekie has good bloodlines with just as much upside as Savoie. Contrary to Savoie, there are no undersize issues here. Geekie is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound center who moves fine but has even better skills with the puck on his stick.
Geekie logged 63 games with the Ice in 2021-22, collecting 24 goals and 46 assists for 70 total points. He produced three goals and eight assists for 11 points over 15 postseason games. The left-handed shooting center can score, and it’s hard to pass on someone with the size and skills.
His speed is not the standout asset, but with his size, it does not need to be. More important for Geekie is his ability to read the game, which he does at an advanced level for a prospect. Scouts seem to like how Geekie is able to use high hockey IQ to make things happen on the ice.
It reminds me of how scouts talk about Elmer Söderblom, who the Detroit Red Wings grabbed in the late rounds of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Scouts talked about Söderblom’s skill with the puck, smooth hands, and ability to anticipate.
Geekie will bring a similar skillset, being someone who lets the game come to him and makes smart decisions with the puck. Expect him to be a future asset to a team’s top six. If he is there at eight overall, the Red Wings have to select him.
3 The Detroit Red Wings should consider drafting, Marco Kasper – Center, Rögle BK (SHL)
The Detroit Red Wings have found success over in the SHL, identifying talent and finding some of the best prospects. The team has to have center Marco Kasper circled on their draft board as someone to consider. The Austrian-born forward played the 2021-22 season for Rögle BK in the SHL.
Kasper logged 46 games in the SHL with only seven goals and four assists for 11 total points. With Rögle’s U20 squad, Kasper managed six goals and seven assists for 13 total points over 12 games. He’s been lower on some of the draft rankings, but the NHL Scouting Bureau has Kasper as the fifth-best European skater.
He uses a 6-foot-2, 187-pound frame to be more of a power forward player. Kasper has been able to showcase this with Rögle BK, being able to create offense. Though some development should make him an even more deadly option, his ability to drive the net and create scoring chances stands out.
If the Red Wings want a forward who’s going to drive the net hard for a crash-the-net style of offense, then the team has to consider drafting Kasper at eight. The skills are exciting, and if the players mentioned above are off the board, it is an intriguing selection at eight.
The Detroit Red Wings will have their pick of the litter at eight, with plenty of talent still remaining on the board when the team is on the clock. These are just three of the names of players they should consider drafting in the first round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.