As with seemingly every Detroit Red Wings draft class, five years is almost too early to evaluate its success; that said, the Red Wings 2010 draft may have been the organization’s most successful since 2005, when the team took long-term contributors Justin Abdelkader, Jakub Kindl and Darren Helm.
The Wings owned the 21st pick in the draft, which would be its highest selection since, coincidentally, 2005. Owing to the organization’s strength in developing players, none of its 2010 picks were dealt in the years leading up to the draft, as the team selected once in each round.
1st round, 21st overall: Riley Sheahan, C, Notre Dame (NCAA)
Status: NHL Player
NHL Games Played: 123
It might be hard to believe, but when the Red Wings took Notre Dame freshman Riley Sheahan, it marked the first time the organization had selected a forward in the first round of the draft since 1992. They selected Curtis Bowen that year, a former Ottawa 67’s winger who never played a game in the NHL. In the 18 years since, the team had nine first round picks, eight of which were used to take defensemen, while the other – 30th overall – was used on goaltender Tom McCollum in 2008.
Given the team’s reluctance to take a forward so early in the draft in recent years, the selection of Sheahan was a relatively safe pick. He had already played one season at the University of Notre Dame, scoring six goals and adding 11 assists in 37 games. Because he was already playing collegiate hockey, Sheahan had experience playing against older, bigger players and the Wings could let him continue to develop there, without taking up a roster spot in Grand Rapids, for the next two or three seasons. The St. Catherines, Ontario native played two more seasons at Notre Dame before turning pro at the end of the 2011-12 season, playing once with the Red Wings and seven games with the Griffins in Grand Rapids.
Relatively speaking, Sheahan was not given plenty of time to develop in the AHL, playing a combined 103 games over parts of two seasons. A good skater with a big frame, he had already proved himself physically capable of playing pro hockey, and after a mid-season call-up to Detroit midway through the 2013-14 season, he has not looked back. Now with 60 career points in 123 NHL regular season games, Sheahan has proved himself a steady and effective bottom-six forward that can also provide an offensive spark. He scored 13 goals this past season, but at just 23, he still has the potential to become a 20-goal scorer.
2nd round, 51st overall: Calle Järnkrok, C, Brynas IF (SHL)
Status: NHL Player (Nashville Predators)
NHL Games Played: 86
The Red Wings met their Swedish quota early in the 2010 NHL Draft, selecting Calle Jarnkrok in the second round. The undersized pivot was actually ranked fairly high heading into the draft. He was ranked number 34 in James Mirtle’s draft rankings for the Globe and Mail, which combined lists from International Scouting Services, The Hockey News and TSN analyst Bob McKenzie’s rankings. For Jarnkrok to still be on the board at number 51 meant it was not much of a surprise that the Wings selected him.
Following the draft, Jarnkrok spent the next three seasons at home in Sweden, playing for Brynas, where his point total increased each year from 27 to 39 to 42. In fact, the 42 points he recorded in the 2012-13 season was enough to lead his team in scoring while he was still just 21. He made his North American debut with the Grand Rapids Griffins at the end of that season, playing in nine games and recording three assists. In 2013-14, Jarnkrok began his first full season with the Griffins, but only played in 57 games before being traded to Nashville at the trade deadline.
Looking for veteran leadership, the Red Wings sent a fairly substantial package to the Predators in exchange for David Legwand. Along with Jarnkrok, Detroit sent Patrick Eaves and a third round pick to Nashville. Jarnkrok looked NHL-ready in his 57 games with the Griffins, scoring 13 goals and adding 23 points. The Wings, of course, lost to the Bruins in the first round of the playoffs while Legwand was held pointless in the playoffs and signed with the Ottawa Senators in the off-season. Jarnkrok, meanwhile, has gone on to play 86 regular season games with the Predators and has accumulated 27 points.
Drafted for his size – he is now 6’4 and 205 lbs – and defensive abilities, Louis-Marc Aubry was thought of as a safe pick for the Red Wings. His offensive ability was questioned at the time since he had just 55 points in 131 regular season games in the Q prior to being picked, but the organization was enamored with his shutdown center projection.
Unfortunately, injuries limited the big center to just 35 regular season games the following season with Montreal, where he was a teammate with future Red Wings prospect Xavier Ouellet. He signed his first contract in November of that season, and turned pro the following year, joining the Grand Rapids Griffins. After two effective but uninspiring seasons as a bottom-six forward for the team, he split the 2013-14 season between the Griffins and the ECHL Toledo Walleye. In 38 games for the Griffins, he recorded just four points.
For the 2014-15 season, Aubry’s fourth as a pro, he entered the slide year of his entry-level deal and has had his most productive season since his first as a pro in 2011-12; in fact, he matched his point totals exactly from that year, scoring five goals and adding 11 assists. He will be a free agent July 1st, unless the Red Wings opt to re-sign him.
Watch this 2010 NHL Draft Look Back video featuring Detroit Red Wings draftees Riley Sheahan, Calle Jarnkrok, and Louis-Marc Aubry.
4th round, 111th overall: Teemu Pulkkinen, W, Jokerit Helsinki (SM-Liiga)
NHL Games Played: 34
He may still be playing in the AHL for the Grand Rapids Griffins in the playoffs but Teemu Pulkkinen has done about everything he can to earn the right to be called a NHL player. In fact, he is already the most impressive prospect selected in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. Tye McGinn and Craig Cunningham are the only players from that round to have played more games in the NHL, but Pulkkinen is the only one that projects as a top-six forward.
Pulkkinen played in the Jokerit system from the U16 level, and, prior to being drafted by the Red Wings, scored 15 points in six games for Finland at the U18 World Championships. The following season, Pulkkinen made the leap to playing with the Jokerit men’s team in Liiga full time, bursting on the scene with 54 points in 55 games to finish second the team in scoring. Strangely enough, his offensive production dropped in the next two season, scoring just 37 and 34 points respectively, but the move to North America has been beneficial for the Finn.
As a rookie with the Griffins in 2013-14, Pulkkinen’s goal-scoring ability was on full display as he led the team in both goals (31) and points (59). This past season, he needed just 46 games with the Griffins to claim the second spot in team scoring with 61 points; despite having played 25 fewer games than the year prior, he still managed to score three more goals (34). Pulkkinen’s best asset is his booming slap shot and accurate wrister, which he showcased in 31 games for the Red Wings this season, scoring five goals and adding three assists. He figures to be a regular on the 2015-16 Red Wings.
5th round, 141st overall: Petr Mrazek, G, Ottawa 67’s (OHL)
Status: NHL Player
NHL Games Played: 40
Regarded as an athletic goaltender who played a very loose style in goal but often made big saves, Petr Mrazek was very much a sleeper pick, even in the fifth round. The Czech goaltender had played just 30 games for the Ottawa 67’s in the 2009-10 season, compiling a 12-9-1 record before playing in eight playoff games. Yet, despite being the 11th goaltender selected in the draft, Mrazek’s 40 career NHL games is just two less than the other ten goalies’ 42 games combined.
He played two more seasons in Ottawa, and, at the 2012 World Junior Championships, Mrazek broke into the consciousness of the general fan. He starred for the Czech Republic that year, compiling a 2.49 goals against average and a .928 save percentage. He was named the best goaltender of the tournament and, with his wild play in the net, he immediately became a fan favorite.
The 6’1, 184 lb netminder had a tremendous rookie season the following year, in 2012-13, with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Splitting time with former first round pick Tom McCollum, Mrazek played in 42 games and surrendered just 97 goals: good enough for a 2.33 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. Split between a brief stint with the Red Wings for nine games, he had another impressive season with the Griffins in 2013-14. This season, injuries and Mrazek’s own strong play forced the hand of the Red Wings, and he became the team’s starting goaltender in the latter half of the season and into the playoffs; in 29 regular season games, he posted a 2.38 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. For the first time in years, Jimmy Howard’s job as starting goaltender won’t be guaranteed when October rolls around.
Brooks Macek had two very impressive junior seasons in his draft year and his overage year. Unfortunately, between those two seasons, the diminutive winger struggled to replicate the success he found in 2009-10, when he finished third in scoring on the Americans with 73 points in 72 games.
After being drafted, Macek’s point production dropped with Tri-City, putting up just 24 points in 38 games before a mid-season trade to the Calgary Hitmen. In the next year-and-a-half with Calgary, Macek recorded 55 points in 79 games. Because of the drop in production, he was unsigned by the Red Wings, who had drafted him on the potential of his offensive game in 2010. However, as an overager in 2012-13, Macek finished second on the Hitmen in scoring with 80 points in 70 games. That production earned him a contract in Germany where he has spent the past two seasons playing with the Iserlohn Roosters. He finished third in team scoring this year with 39 points, behind former NHLer Mike York and former Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Nick Petersen.
7th round, 201st overall: Ben Marshall, D, Mahtomedi H.S. (Minnesota High School)
NHL Games Played: 0
Because of one-year stint in the USHL following his draft year, Minnesota native Ben Marshall just recently completed a four-year NCAA career. The Red Wings, having not taken a single defenseman in the draft prior to the seventh round, opted for a smaller, puck-moving defender with time to develop.
In his one season with Omaha in the USHL, Marshall scored 11 goals and added 21 assists in 56 games. Through his four-year career at the University of Minnesota, Marshall had his most productive season in 2012-13 as a sophomore when he was the team’s second-leading defenseman scorer with 19 points in 40 games. Over the course of his four-year collegiate career, Marshall recorded 51 points and stayed injury-free, playing 159 games.
He has yet to sign a contract with the Red Wings.