The script for the top of the NHL 2020 project seems simple.
One of the eight teams that lose in the playoff qualifying round will win the second phase of the lottery and select Alexis Lafreniere, practically the best choice expected by all.
The Los Angeles Kings will then select the Quinton Byfield center or Tim Stuetzle wing at number 2. Ottawa senators at number 3 will take whoever is available between Byfield and Stuetzle.
Detroit Red Wings choose at number 4. Hypotheses begin here, but defender Jamie Drysdale makes more sense.
Scripts have a way of changing. We saw it in 201
It is still very early in the evaluation process, but a year later it seems to have been a wise decision.
Seider is a large, mobile defender capable of moving records (6-4, 207) who had a great season as a beginner in the AHL Grand Rapids at the age of 18 and a strong junior world championship he showed with Germany . It is the best prospect of the Red Wings, one who may be ready for the NHL next season.
The Red Wings have a good core of 25 and NHL strikers below in Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi and Robby Fabbri and some promising prospects in sight.
Filip Zadina, their first pick for 2018, has only played 37 games, but is approaching its championship claim. Evgeny Svechnikov, their first choice for 2015, will have the opportunity to test themselves from the start of next season. Michael Rasmussen, their first choice for 2017, could return to the NHL next season after a year of development with the Griffins.
Joe Veleno, the second pick from Detroit’s first round in 2018 (30th in total), has a year of experience in AHL. Jonatan Berggren, taken three points later, showed incredible skills in Sweden despite two seasons plagued by injuries.
Red Wings’ potential defense pool isn’t that strong.
The maximum in the draw teams generally selects the best player on their board, attacker or defender. This is what Yzerman said he will do.
Forward options will likely include the Cole Perfetti centers in Saginaw (OHL) and Marco Rossi in Ottawa (OHL) and the wings Lucas Raymond (Frolunda, Sweden), Alexander Holtz (Djurgardens, Sweden) and Jack Quinn (Ottawa, OHL).
But unless the Red Wings feel one of those players clearly superior to Drysdale, Erie’s defender (OHL) seems like the best option.
Drysdale (5-11, 175) is described by analysts as a good combination of disc movement skills and defensive acumen. He skates well and is aggressive for his size.
“His puck intelligence, excellent footwork and stick positioning help him against bigger players,” said Red Line Report. “Difficult to get the offensive zone on its side of the ice – it keeps the shoulders square towards the disc carriers and perfectly closes the spaces. Extremely dangerous when he has the disc. The calculated passer-by spreads the wealth in all areas of the offensive zone. Use precise shots from afar, targeted to areas where teammates can get detours. The superb skater connects world-class moves in all four directions. “
Red Line Report states that Drysdale’s style is comparable to Cale Makar, the fourth overall choice of 2017 that had a strong rookie season with the Colorado Avalanche.
Drysdale in two or three years would have joined a young defense team that included Filip Hronek, who had settled in the NHL this season, and Seider, who seemed to be confident with the Red Wings at some point next season, if not at the beginning. Dennis Cholowski, their best choice for 2016, could be part of the mix if he improves on the defensive. Gustav Lindstrom may be a skilled defender of the third couple along the way.
Prospects still in junior, college or Europe include Jared McIsaac, Seth Barton, Kasper Kotkansalo, Albert Johansson and Antti Tuomisto.
There is some depth of prospects on the blue line, but the Red Wings need another defender with high-end potential. It could be Drysdale.
More: Steve Yzerman says that Red Wings will get “great prospects” with the fourth choice