The Detroit Red Wings Used the extra months to review and re-evaluate, and General Manager Steve Wizerman is confident that his company is as ready as possible for the challenge.
The Wings enter the virtual draft on Tuesday with a fourth pick and have a total of 10 picks in the two-day event, a key asset for the team trying to rebuild. The Wings need Impact Players for every position, but since taking control of the Wings, the first goal Yazerman has made in his second year is to find the player who has the most impact on the road.
“At this early stage, where we are an organization, I don’t think we can really target a specific location.” Wiseerman said during a zoom call on Thursday. “We’m going to take the best chance. The kids are 17, 18, 19; most of them are three, four, five years away from playing in the NHL.
“Your needs as an organization change over time, so we’re trying to create the best opportunities available with that option. Now, if we draft five left-shot defenders in the first five rounds, we have a chance to go in a different direction in the sixth round.”
Forward Alexis Lafrenier, Tim Stutzell and Quinton Bifield Yazerman are expected to miss their pick time, after Wings No. 1 New York Rangers, No. 2 Los Angeles Kings and 3rd Ottawa Senator. The Wings’ fourth lowest draft position since finishing 17-49-5 when the NHL closed on March 12 is still the best player available.
The Wiseman selectors included defenders Jamie Driesdale and Jake Sanderson, and Marco Rossi, Cole Perfetti, Lucas Raymond and Alexander Holtz.
“We are very excited regardless of how our choices are at the fourth pick,” Wizerman said. He himself was the fourth-overall pick, drafted in 1983 and soon became the new face of the franchise under new owner Mike Ilyich.
The Wings had three picks in the second round. Weizermann did not sound like he wanted to go up in the draft or pack the picks to earn a player, though he did not rule out anything.
“In order for your chances to become players, you need draft picks,” he said. “So it’s important for us to try to add the number of picks each year, and then eventually get some of those players. With each round and from round to round, the chance of becoming a player decreases, so more picks give us better odds, increasing the odds to turn them into players. ”
As they wait for the draft picks to develop into NHL players, Wizerman is balancing his list with the veterans. He re-signed 31-year-old Sam Gagner over the weekend and added 33-year-old defenseman Mark Stall to the opportunistic trade. The Rangers need to empty the salary-cap space, and hit their books instead of taking the stall’s 3 5.3 million cap, Wizerman won the second round pick in 2021.
Despite being funded to sign on to his two biggest limited free agents – forward Anthony Manta and Tyler Bertuzzi – Ezerman has about 3. 27.3 million cap space, giving him the flexibility to take advantage of other teams needed to refinance.
The team’s other limited free agents (forward Adam Earn, Dmitro Timashov, Brendan Perlini and Christopher Ehn and defenseman Madison Bowie) can also get offers.
“We made some decisions on our limits, in fact we were going to qualify them or not give them contracts and give them contracts, or let them go without qualifying them,” Yezerman said. “We have some time to make that decision.”
When the free agency opens next week there will be some influence on the decision of what other teams will do with their limited free agents. The pandemic left-handed teams were stuck with last season’s .581.5 million cap ceiling, including many including Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning and rivals Edmonton Oilers and the St. Louis Blues.
Yzerman will be able to take advantage of it, but first make sure he spends wisely in next week’s draft.
Contact Helen St. James at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more Detroit Red Wings And sign up for us Red Wings Newsletter. Her book The Big 50: The Men and Moments by the Detroit Red Wings will be published by Triumph Books in October. To preorder, go Amazon.