Kris Draper explains why Connor Bedard put a ‘smile on our face’

Red Wings director of amateur scouting Kris Draper says the team did in fact interview Connor Bedard.

With the 2023 Draft officially completed, Detroit Red Wings director of amateur scouting Kris Draper discussed the importance of their first-round pick of Nate Danielson, as well as revealing that they did have a chance to interview 1st overall pick, Connor Bedard.

NHL: Centennial Classic-Practice Day
Dec 31, 2016; Toronto, ON, Canada; Detroit Red Wings forward Kris Draper (33) celebrates as he scores the game-winning goal late in the third period against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2017 Rogers NHL Centennial Classic Alumni Game at BMO Field. The Red Wings beat the Maple Leafs 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Wings used all of their Draft selections

With the 9th pick of Round 1, the Red Wings opted to select Canadian-born forward Nate Danielson. They soon would return to the podium at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena and announce that they were taking Swedish-born defenseman Axel Sandin Pellikka.

Nine additional players were selected by the Red Wings as the Draft continued:

Kris Draper,Detroit Red Wings

Kris Draper says Red Wings interviewed Connor Bedard

Draper said that despite the fact they did not hold the 1st overall selection, they did have a chance to speak with Bedard, who was taken with the first pick by the Chicago Blackhawks.

“We interviewed Connor Bedard, and he's an incredible talent and prospect,” said Draper. “But he also has a good mind for the game. It was like, ‘Why don't we interview him and have a conversation?'”

Bedard would say not long after he was picked that he's friends with Danielson, and he also said that he was the toughest player that he faced while playing in the WHL.

“There was no hesitation when he brought that up, so we had a little smile on our face when he said that,” Draper said. “It was something that we saw that he (Danielson) was used in those kinds of situations, played against everyone in all situations. When you have a prospect like Bedard complimenting Nate Danielson, it puts a smile on your face for sure.”

Key Points

  • The Red Wings came into the 2023 Draft with the 9th overall pick
  • Despite not holding the 1st, they did, in fact, interview Connor Bedard
  • They liked that Bedard was complimentary of their pick of Nate Danielson

Wrapping It Up

Danielson said after the Draft that he considers himself to be a very well-rounded player, something that Detroit was looking for in their pick.

“I'm a very well-rounded player,” Danielson said. “I play well in all areas of the rink, and offensively, I'm very skilled, and defensively, I'm responsible. I think just my all-around game is really strong.”

We are looking forward to seeing what he'll be able to accomplish on the ice when he's eventually playing in Detroit.