The Detroit Red Wings headed into the 2013 draft hoping to land a skilled forward with good size in the first round, then address other needs in later rounds. A great trade saw them send the 18th overall pick away, giving them the 20th overall pick and an extra pick in the second round. The Red Wings selected QMJHL forward Anthony Mantha in the first round, and the youngster impressed during last week’s development camp. Here’s a look at the rest of the players the Red Wings selected this summer, and how each player might fit in with the team.
The second round saw the Red Wings select Zach Nastasiuk of the Owen Sound Attack. The winger was projected to go higher and could be a great value pick for the Wings if he’s able to contribute as a third or fourth line player in the future. The extra pick from the trade (58th overall) was used on Tyler Bertuzzi of the Guelph Storm. While many pointed to this pick as a reach by Detroit, Bertuzzi turned more than a few heads at development camp, and is making a name for himself with a gritty style of play. He’s also the nephew of current Red Wing Todd Bertuzzi.
In the third round, the Red Wings looked to Europe and selected Mattias Janmark-Nylen from Sweden. Given the team’s history with Swedish players, this could end up being another great pick in a few years. In the fourth round the Red Wings selected David Pope, a winger who will face a long road before he plays professional hockey. Defenseman Mitchell Wheaton was taken in the fifth round. Wheaton has great size (6-4, 230) but is recovering from injury. This could be a great late-round pick for the Red Wings, and they will continue to monitor his progress with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
In the last two rounds the Wings selected Marc McNulty and Hampus Melen, two young players who face long odds to ever make the roster in Detroit. Given the Red Wings’ history of draft day steals, this could be another class that gets talked about in five years, or it could be just another average year. Mantha and Nastasiuk possess great talent and are the closest to having an impact in Detroit, while Bertuzzi seems determined to live up to where he was drafted. The combination of getting players they wanted while trading one pick for two in return nets Ken Holland and his staff an A- for the 2013 draft.