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Red Wings chances in the draft Lottery

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The Red Wings have just six games remaining in the 2018-19 NHL season. Unfortunately, there won’t be an opportunity for the post-season. While the top eight teams from each conference begin to prepare for the playoffs, the bottom 15 clubs get ready for the NHL draft lottery.

When it Happens

This season’s lottery is scheduled for April 9 at the Canadian Broadcasting Company building in downtown Toronto. The televised show that reveals the picks begins at 8 p.m. ET, about an hour after the actual drawing concludes. In the past, the lottery was held during the playoffs, but this season it will take place just three days after the conclusion of the regular season. The lottery is only to determine the order of the first 15 picks. No players will be selected until the official 2019 NHL Draft on June 21-22 in Vancouver.

How it Works

The draft lottery uses the same kind of machine used for multimillion-dollar drawings, with actual lottery balls. League commissioner Gary Bettman was with the NBA when it began using the draft lottery concept in 1985. He implemented the NHL draft lottery in 1995, with the intent to discourage teams from trying to finish last to earn the first draft selection for the next season.

Until 2012 (except for the post-lockout draft in 2015) only the bottom-ranked five teams had a shot at the first overall pick. Beginning in 2013, every team that missed the post-season will have an opportunity to choose first. Three drawings will occur on the evening of April 9. The first ball drawn determines who gets first pick. The next draw is for pick number two, and the third will be chosen at random. The 12 remaining teams will then be seeded fourth through 15th according to their finishing records.

The team with the worst record is guaranteed a selection in the top four, but unlike the traditional, reverse-order there is far less guaranteed benefit to “tanking” the latter part of the campaign. The worst overall team has an 18.5 percent chance at first pick, the team that finishes 30th has a chance of 13.5 percent, and the third-worst has a probability of 11.5 percent.

A Pair of Forwards Ahead of the Field

With the Wings currently sitting third from the bottom, they have an 11.5% shot at the first overall pick. Is there a clear front-runner among the young prospects this season? Yes! There are two that stand well ahead of the rest of the field. If Detroit lands a top-two pick, it is unlikely that they would go after someone outside of the top two. Rankings from 20 sources* were used to compile the results listed below.

Jack Hughes – C, U.S. U18 (NTDP), 5-foot-10, 168 pounds

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Hughes was the highest rated prospect in 18 of the 20 rankings lists reviewed. He has been commended on his hockey sense and vision on the ice. He has impressive edge work and an explosive first step. While size seems to be less important in today’s game than even a decade ago, there is still speculation as to his ability to perform at the top level with his current frame. Regardless of this concern, it is a safe bet that Hughes will be the prize claimed by the winner of the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery.

Kaapo Kakko – RW, TPS Turku (SM-Liiga), 6-foot-2, 194 pounds

Kakko has narrowed the gap between himself and Hughes throughout the season. He is a graceful forward with a large frame and impressive puck-protection skills partnered with a lethal shot. Kakko has dominated Finland’s top pro league this season and is now just three goals shy of tying Aleksander Barkov’s SM-Liiga record for goals-scored among under-18 prospects. This, too, is a safe bet for whichever franchise finishes second in the lottery.

Top Options for Third through Sixth Pick

Based on current standings, the most likely final position for the Wings will be 29th. The worst-case scenario for draft order would be sixth. While there are varying opinions of the players once you look past Hughes and Kakko, there is still plenty of talent to choose from. The following outlines the remaining players appearing near the top of the experts’ projections:

Dylan Cozens – C, Lethbridge (WHL), 6-foot-3, 185 pounds

Ranked between fourth and eighth on most lists, with an average seeding of 4.70, Cozens is a forward who plays both speedy and physical. He can play center or wing and makes things difficult for opponents in all three zones. Detroit could use another big body who won’t hesitate to take the puck into traffic to create scoring opportunities.

Vasily Podkolzin – RW, SKA-Neva (VHL), 6-foot-1, 190 pounds

Ranked as high as second on some lists, and receiving an average rating of 5.40, Podkolzin is likely the most intriguing option outside of the first two picks for Detroit. He is a Russian-trained player with game-breaking skills and an abrasive style the fans in Hockeytown are sure to welcome. Many scouts have agreed that Podkozin will be an effective first-line forward in the NHL’s near-future.

Kirby Dach – C, Saskatoon (WHL), 6-foot-3, 195 pounds

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Dach ranks well inside the top-ten players on 19 of 20 lists (11th on the other). His average ranking is 5.95, and he is a big body that is similar to a young Joe Thornton. Dach has a knack for creating space in tight quarters, due to his vision and creativity. If the Wings opt to strengthen their depth at the center position, Cozens and Dach appear to be the best options on the market.

Bowen Byram – D, Vancouver (WHL), 6-foot-1, 194 pounds

Arguably the best defenseman available for the draft, Byram plays heavy minutes and a strong two-way game. He currently leads the WHL rearguards with 22 goals this season. More than one analyst has named Byram Detroit’s best option should they fall outside the top five picks.

Peyton Krebs – C, Kootenay (WHL), 5-foot-11, 180 pounds

Krebs will have a chance to improve his draft stock playing for Canada at the April under-18 world championship. He is more of a playmaker than goal-scorer, and he has a good reaction time and acceleration to create space and time with the puck. A strong showing in April could put Krebs in the discussion with Dach and Cozens.

Trevor Zegras – C, U.S. U18 (NTDP), 6-foot, 166 pounds

Zegras is a playmaker on a line centered by Jack Hughes. He has soft hands and an ability to create chemistry with new linemates very quickly.

Matthew Boldy – LW, U.S. U18 (NTDP), 6-foot-1, 187 pounds

Some have penned Boldy as the draft-eligible forward with the highest hockey IQ. There is a distinct possibility that the Wings could take him with as high as the third pick. He is committed to Boston College next year and listed as a potential future candidate for a Selke Trophy or two.

Alex Turcotte – C, U.S. U18 (NTDP), 5-foot-11, 194 pounds

Compared to Nico Hischier, 2017’s first-overall pick, Turcotte is a two-way center who is a top student of the game with the potential to become an elite center. His father Alfie Turcotte is a former NHL player.

Philip Broberg – D, AIK (Allsvenskan), 6-foot-3, 203 pounds

This large-framed blue-liner is as fast as he is physical. He has the potential to be one of the top rearguards in his class, but he needs to reduce his uncalculated risks.

Raphael Lavoie – RW, Halifax (QMJHL), 6-foot-4, 198 pounds

Lavoie has been described as unselfish, fast, skilled, and smart. Bigger forwards seldom receive all four labels. He seems to have no problem sharing the spotlight and the puck when shooting is not the best option.

 

Stay Updated

Michigan Sports and Entertainment will continue to provide updates following the Detroit Red Wings and the NHL Draft. To stay notified about updates for your Detroit Red Wings, be sure to follow Michigan Sports and Entertainment on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

 

*20 draft rankings utilized consisted of: ISS, Larry Fisher (THW), Future Considerations, Hockey Prospect, Scott Wheeler (The Atlantic), Sam Consentino (Sportsnet), Chris Peter (ESPN), Cam Robinson (Dobber Prospects), Prospect Pipeline, NA Central Scouting, Ryan Kennedy (The Hockey News), Draft Buzz Hockey, Korey Pronman (The Athletic), McKeens Hockey, Bob McKenzie (TSN), Hannah Stuart (The Score), Craig Button (TSN), Jeremy David (Canucks Army), Will Scouch, The Draft Analysis.

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DSN’s Interview with Geordie Day, director of “Tough Guy: The Bob Probert Story”

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For fans of the Detroit Red Wings who were fortunate enough to be able to see Bob Probert suit up in person, they’ll tell the many stories of his legendary fights and of his reputation as one of the toughest men to have ever skated in the NHL.

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But off the ice, it wasn’t always smooth skating for Probert. Though he was known for the use of his fists, he also became known for battles with inner demons, as well as run-ins with the law; his sudden passing in July of 2010 at the age of 45 stunned the hockey world.

An intimate look at Probert’s life through previously unseen home movies, as well as interviews from legendary hockey figures, is set to be released in select theaters after a film festival run this spring. “Tough Guy: The Bob Probert Story” is the latest work of documentarian Geordie Day, whose films have been seen around the world.

Q: What was the inspiration for this project?

So, back in 2016, I directed a documentary on Clint Malarchuk, the goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres who nearly was killed after a skate blade severed his neck in the late 1980s. The film was about his struggles with mental illness. Additionally, my mom writes a lot of hockey biographies, and she had written Bob’s with him. All of the taped interviews for that book, we used in our documentary

While her and Bob were working on the book, they were doing hours of taped interviews about his famous scandals and fights. She’s been sitting on the tapes and recordings for years. I thought it would be cool to have Bob’s story, kind of like the Amy Winehouse documentary and use as much archival film as possible and tell us his story through his career, so that people could empathize with him and through the documentary they could go along with him.

Q: There are plenty of high profile interviews you did for this documentary, including from Steve Yzerman, Joe Kocur, Chris Chelios, and others. Did you find they were eager to take part in this film?

They’re busy guys, so scheduling wasn’t the easiest thing. They made it happen, and I think that’s a testament to (Bob’s wife) Dani Probert and the respect that all the guys have for her. A lot were doing for Bob as well. The interviews I’d credit to the respect that all the players have for Bob and Dani.

Q: Is there any effect that you’re hoping this documentary will have on today’s NHL enforcers?

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We didn’t go into it wanting to make it an advocacy film; I don’t land on either side of the argument and I don’t think the film does either. It’s just a film about Bob and his life and the issues he faced. We all deal with them too, and it’s about his struggles and what is family and friends and teammates struggled the most with. If a current NHL enforcer sees it, there is a correlation between enforcers and drinking/drug use. If guys can watch the documentary and can gain perspective on their own situation, I think that’d be great.

Q: Do you think that Bob’s career would have been different had he not struggled with substance abuse?

Good question and we try to tackle that in the documentary. A lot of people see he had an All-Star season in 1987 and 1988 and he could be a powerhouse out there. If it weren’t for drugs and alcohol and if it weren’t getting caught at the border with cocaine, who knows what would happen? He could have been an All-Star for years to come. Others say his meanness and toughness had something to do with the fact that he was drinking and doing drugs. You never know. I’d be more inclined to think without it, he’d probably have had an even better carer than he did. But it’s impossible to say.

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Q: What else can people expect to see in this project?

I think Bob has this larger than life persona, and part of being probably the best enforcer ever – or at least the most dominant. All the scandals he was involved in and always on the front page and media for his addiction issues. I think we tried to juxtapose that with the Bob seen in home video footage and his own perspective, so you can realize this wasn’t a badass rock star hockey player who didn’t care about anyone. He cared a lot of people and they loved him, and just like everyone else he struggled with demons, so hopefully people can see it and see the best of Bob.

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SHOCKER! Steve Yzerman’s Lightning swept in Round 1 by Columbus

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Wow!

In perhaps the most shocking playoff result in recent memory, the 62-win Tampa Bay Lightning were swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

http://gty.im/874354282

Of course, headlines were made before this season began when Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announced he’d be stepping down from that role in the final year of his contract and serve as an advisor. Speculation immediately ran rampant that it was a hint that he’d be returning home to the Detroit Red Wings.

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Carolina Hurricanes claim ‘Hockey Town,’ Detroit Red Wings respond

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On Monday night, as the Carolina Hurricanes were in the midst of a 5-0 playoff win over the Washington Capitals, whoever runs the Hurricanes Twitter account did something very dumb.

Check it out.

Well, as soon as the tweet went out, a plethora of responses followed not only ripping the Hurricanes for claiming ‘Hockey Town’ after being in existence for just over 20 years but reminding them that there is only one city that can claim that title.

Detroit, Michigan.

Even the Detroit Red Wings Twitter responded to the Hurricanes tweet.

Oh, by the way, Carolina…

It’s ‘Hockeytown,’ not ‘Hockey Town!’

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