Instead, they traded the No. 16 pick and the now dead contract of long-time Red Wing Pavel Datsyuk. to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Joe Vitale, the 20th overall and 53rd overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. Seven total players hear their names called as the newest members of the Detroit Red Wings’ franchise.
Let’s take a look Detroit’s 2016 draft class.
Round 1 (20th overall): Dennis Cholowski – Defenseman
“He is an effortless skater, and you can’t have enough smart, good puck-moving defensemen on your hockey club,” director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright said. “We think he could be one of the better D of this draft.”
So honoured to be selected by @DetroitRedWings. Very proud moment for me and my family.
— Dennis Cholowski (@dcholowski27) June 25, 2016
Round 2 (46th overall): Givani Smith – Right Wing
Smith is a tough, rugged forward who has a nose for the net, great hockey sense and skates very well. He has absolutely no problem dishing out a body check and letting his presence be felt on the ice.
He’ll need to cut down on taking penalties and clean it up a bit as he matures and develops his game but with that said, Givani Smith is a player that will stick up for his teammates and can surely have a future at the NHL level of play once he matures his game more.
Round 2 (53rd overall): Filip Hronek – Defenseman
“The thing that stands out for him is his energy and the pace that he plays with is pretty good. He’s not the biggest guy or defensive zone wall but he’s got a certain energy to his game that makes him look like he could maybe play at the pace of NHL down the road.
It’s not just skating that he’s good at but it’s more like an engine of his and he just keeps going. He’s not the biggest guy so in the defensive zone sometimes it’s almost a bit funny to see him go against big players because he’s got that bite to him but it’s not very effective because he’ll just bounce off guys.” – Nic Funa from HockeyProspect.com’s ‘Pipeline Show’
Round 4 (107th overall): Alfons Malmstrom – Defenseman
Red Line Reports on #RedWings pick D Alfons Malmstrom: "Good size and mobility, and some passing skills."
— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) June 25, 2016
Round 5 (137th overall): Jordan Sambrook – Defenseman
“Smooth-skating two-way defenceman who displays solid creativity and offensive instincts, as well as a strong defensive game. Can play lengthy shifts due to his conservative style without the puck, and can be relied upon in all situations. Mobile with and without the puck, and could even become a bit quicker. His size allows him to be physically assertive and protect the puck well. All-in-all, a defenceman who has the potential to become a well-rounded all-around player that can log a lot of ice-time.” Curtis Joe from Eliteprospects.com
Round 6 (167th overall): Filip Larsson – Goalie
#RedWings use pick #167 on Filip Larsson. Had a feeling a team would take a flyer on him. Didn't have a great year, but lots of upside.
— Gregory Balloch (@GregBalloch) June 25, 2016
Round 7 (197th overall) – Mattias Elfstrom – Left Wing
“A big winger who has great skating ability and gets to top speed fairly quickly. You don’t expect to see a prospect this big with the speed to breakaway from the junior defenders, but he does. After they play against him a few rushes, they see how he forces them to back off. Displays a good strong shot, very good hands and an emerging physicality. He can beat you one on one, with a shot from the perimeter, or with body work. Projects as a player who can develop into a power player.” – Bill Placzek from Draftsite.com
The Detroit Red Wings had solid 2016 NHL Draft. The Wings addressed a position of need, four of the seven draft picks were blue-liners. None of them will be rushed by any means and can continue to improve their games at whatever level of hockey they are pursuing going forward.
The two forwards selected seems to have plenty of upside along with the goaltender that was drafted. The move made to send Datsyuk’s contract to Arizona and clear that chunk of change out was a brilliant move by general manager Ken Holland.
It will be a topic brought up in discussions all around if Detroit ends up bringing a big name player to Hockeytown.