The Detroit Red Wings 2010 draft class consisted of seven players – two from NCAA schools, three from the CHL and two from Europe. First round pick Riley Sheahan saw one game of NHL action with the Wings last season, and he and two other members of this talented class are playing for the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins this season.
With the 21st overall pick the Wings selected Sheahan, a center from Notre Dame. He turned pro last season and immediately made an impact at the AHL level, notching a goal and an assist in seven games. He earned a one-game call-up to Detroit, and this season is back with AHL Grand Rapids. After a slow start, he came on strong in early November, with a three-goal effort in two games. The Wings hope to see him learn from a recent DUI arrest and continue his strong play on the ice while adding discipline off the ice.
Swedish center Calle Jarnkrok was the Wings’ second round selection, and is currently playing for Brynas IF Galve of the Swedish Elite League. He leads the team in points with four goals and 15 assists through 21 games. Cody Franson of the Toronto Maple Leafs is a teammate of his there during the lockout.
In the third round Detroit selected center Louis-Marc Aubry, who spent three seasons in the QMJHL with the Montreal Juniors. Aubry’s father, Pierre, played over 200 NHL games for the Wings and Quebec Nordiques. Aubry has progressed well at AHL Grand Rapids, and is a fluid skater with a lot of offensive upside. He scored five goals and had 16 points in his AHL rookie season, playing in 62 games despite being on a team loaded with veterans. He continues to earn solid minutes this season and has a goal and three points through 14 games.
The Wings looked to Europe yet again in the fourth round, selecting Finnish winger Teemu Pulkkinen. He was a strong performer at three different international tournaments, finishing third in scoring at the 2009 IIHF World U18 Championships, first in scoring at the 2010 IIHF World U18 Championships, and turning out a four-goal third period in a game against Denmark at the 2012 World Junior Championships. This will be his third full season with Jokerit Helsinki of the SM-liiga, where he is a teammate of NHLers Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators) and Valtteri Filppula (Red Wings). He has scored three goals in 21 games.
Detroit’s fifth round selection, goaltender Petr Mrazek (pictured above), may end up being one of their best picks in recent years. The former Ottawa 67’s netminder put himself on everyone’s radar with a stellar performance at the 2012 World Junior Championships, where he was named best goaltender. This season saw him start in the ECHL with the Toledo Walleye, where he posted a 2-1 record before being promoted to the AHL. In five games with the Griffins, Mrazek is 5-0 with a 2.34 goals against average and has supplanted former first round pick Tom McCollum as the team’s top goaltender.
Winger Brooks Macek was taken in the sixth round, and is now in his third season with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. Through 21 games, he leads the team with 27 points (11 goals). He should see time in Grand Rapids at the end of this WHL season and will likely start next season there.
The seventh round saw the Wings select Ben Marshall, a defenseman then in high school who now finds himself at the University of Minnesota. Marshall is already ahead of last season’s scoring pace, with three goals and five points through 11 games. His Golden Gopher team is loaded with NHL draft picks (including its three leading scorers): Erik Haula (Minnesota Wild, 2009), Kyle Rau (Florida Panthers, 2011), Nick Bjugstad (Panthers, 2010) and goaltender Adam Wilcox (Tampa Bay Lightning, 2011).
The Red Wings’ 2010 draft class is loaded with offensive talent, and also features a promising young goaltender. Two years after they were selected, all players are performing at a level the team has to be happy with. While only one has put the winged wheel sweater on in an NHL game so far, it would not be a stretch to say that in the next few years, several more may also get the opportunity.