Thread: Prospect Info: Offical 2010 Red Wing Draft Thread
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03-10-2010, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by jaster View Post
The Wings need a top-6 center prospect. They have zero in their system, unless you count Ferraro, but I don't, I think he's a winger at the NHL level. Hopefully there is a good one available in the first round.
The thing is they already have a pair of 1st line centers in Datsyuk and Zetterberg locked up for quite awhile and Filppula certainly looks like he could be a solid 2nd line pivot if given the job. Top line centers are just not really a hole on this team for the forseeable future. They need wingers impact defensemen most right now. If you look ahead for the next 3-5 years.....

Datsyuk is signed 4 more years (probably re-signed)
Zetterberg is signed forever
Filppula is signed for 3 more years (he'll likely be re-signed)
Helm is going to be re-signed and should be here for the next 3+ years
* We're pretty well set at center with Emmerton being a potential bottom 6 pivot and Abdelkader being a potential 2nd/3rd tweener at center or wing. You've also for Andersson over in Sweden who is projected to be a Pahlsson-type 3rd/4th line center. Unless the plan is to move Zetterberg to the wing for the rest of his career the Wings just don't have any openings at center until 2014-15 at best IF Datsyuk falls off the table by then and I wouldn't count on that just yet.

Franzen is signed until armageddon
Cleary is signed 3 more years
* That's pretty much it at wing. We've got some nice talent that could pan out in Mursak, Tatar, Ferraro, Nyqvist, Axelsson, heck even Coetzee but none of them are really close to being ready to claim a top 6 role on the Wings. We have lots of maybe's but nothing that screams 25+ goal player consistently yet. Honestly, we'd be lucky if just 1 of those 6 prospects developed into a consistent 30+ goal 1st liner. We still need lots of help, but it's not a priority since productive wingers who can fill in are available every season in the free agency bargain bin (a la Bertuzzi, Williams). A decent quick-fix top 6 winger can be found for 2M of less usually.

Rafalski is signed 2 more years
Kronwall is signed 2 more years (probably re-signed)
Stuart is signed 2 more years
Ericsson is signed 1 more year (probably re-signed)
Kindl is signed 3 more years
* This is where the biggest question marks lie. Kronwall and Ericsson will probably be re-signed but both Rafalski and Stuart are still up in the air. Guys like Smith and Lashoff are really our best bets after Kindl to develop into top 4 guys to replace them. The defense pipeline for top 2/4 talent is pretty bare right now. If Ericsson and/or Kindl fall off we just don't have anything else to hang our hat on instead. Guys like Pyett, Kolosov, Tollefsen, Nicastro, etc. really don't look like much more than bottom pairing/depth players right now although there is some time for them to step it up still. Defense is really our area of need, especially considering the premium you have to pay in free agency to get a quality player (6M for Rafalski, 3.75M for Stuart). Even a serviceable 2nd pairing defenseman usually commands 3M+ onm the market. This is where I think the draft needs to focus most on since this is the area we have the most questions about moving forward.

Osgood is signed 1 more year
Howard is signed 1 more year
* This is where it can get dicey. We have plenty of potential in the system with Larsson and McCollum, but they need to both take a some big steps to be guys you can count on for the future. Howard has shown promise as a rookie, but after next season he's an unrestricted free agent and if he has a strong sophomore season he could be ripe for the picking by another team. The dollars spent in goal are certainly doing to rise significantly, be it a Howard re-signing or a signing/trade for an established #1 goalie. Right now all we can hang our hats on is Howard because Larsson doesn't appear NHL-ready and McCollum looks to be forever and a day away from the NHL.

All that said, I'd stick with defense at the draft and keep building there. Developing a blue-chip blueliner is invaluable. Those guys are cheap on the cap and cornerstones for a franchise. Plus a defenseman is almost always worth more in a trade than a comparable forward. From a sheer value standpoint this is really the best position to invest your top resources in. Going for a winger wouldn't hurt either but I just don't see it as being the best option. Going for a center or goalie IMO is just not a very good idea.

We've still got some super green prospect as well that could develop (a la Almqvist, Nestrasil) but counting on anything from them this early is just folly. They have a long way to go before you can consider them as possible NHLers one day.

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