Steve Yzerman and Kris Draper discuss Axel Sandin Pellikka’s appeal to Red Wings

Following the conclusion of the first round, Steve Yzerman and Kris Draper explained why Axel Sandin Pellikka was the guy they had to have at No. 17.

In the 2023 NHL Draft's opening round, Detroit Red Wings General Manager Steve Yzerman made a significant move by selecting defenseman Axel Sandin Pellikka with the No. 17 overall pick. Yzerman's decision to add Sandin Pellikka to the team's prospect pool reveals a strategic focus on bolstering the defensive lineup. Following the first round, Yzerman and Kris Draper, the team's director of amateur scouting, shed light on the appeal of Sandin Pellikka and the impact he could have on the Red Wings' future.

Steve Yzerman Detroit Red Wings Kris Draper Axel Sandin Pellikka

Yzerman and Draper discuss Sandin Pellikka's appeal to Red Wings

Here is what Yzerman and Draper had to say about Sandin Pellikka: (Via Detroit Free Press)

Sandin Pellikka is a “good offensive d-man,” Yzerman said. “He skates well, he’s got good puck skills. He’s got very good hockey sense. Little bit different than what we have in our system, so I think it’s a good fit.”

“It was important to find a right-shot D and what we felt was the right kind of right-shot D,” Draper said. “We really like his hockey sense, we really like his poise with the puck. He was another impressive young man the way he speaks.

“He was 17 years old, he played in the World Juniors, by the end of the tournament, he was running the power play, a big part of it,” Draper added. “That was the thing you just kept coming back to, is he’s really smart, he knows how to manage the game, he knows how to manage the puck, he has deception with it, and he really moves well on the offensive blue line as well. We felt it was something that was important to bring into the prospect pool. We don’t have a lot of right shot d-men, either.”

Key Points

  • Steve Yzerman and Kris Draper discuss Axel Sandin Pellikka's appeal to the Detroit Red Wings.
  • Sandin Pellikka is praised for his offensive skills, skating ability, and hockey sense.
  • The Red Wings value Sandin Pellikka's right-shot defensive capabilities and intelligent play.
  • Sandin Pellikka's performance at the World Juniors showcases his composure and leadership.
  • Yzerman prioritized drafting Sandin Pellikka and declined potential trade opportunities.
Detroit Red Wings Axel Sandin Pellikka Steve Yzerman Kris Draper

The Bottom Line – Unlocking Defensive Potential

The Detroit Red Wings' decision to draft Axel Sandin Pellikka demonstrates their commitment to developing a formidable defensive unit. The combination of Steve Yzerman's astute evaluation and Kris Draper's expertise in scouting has resulted in the addition of a talented defenseman who possesses the skills and attributes necessary for success in the NHL.

Sandin Pellikka's arrival injects a fresh dynamic into the Red Wings' defensive strategy, with his right-shot capabilities and offensive contributions offering a new dimension to the team's gameplay. As the prospect continues his development within the organization, the Red Wings and their fans eagerly anticipate the positive impact Sandin Pellikka will have on the team's performance in the seasons to come.