Where Are They Now? Red Wings Draft Update

By pbadmin

Wondering if the two time Stanley Cup Champions are going to be able to continue their success into the new century? Here is a look at the last four drafts and what those players are doing today. For a full profile on each player, go to the Red Wings team page.

1995

1st Round ( 26th overall ): Maxim Kuznetsov, D , 6-5 215 Adirondack ( AHL ) : Detroit’s 7th rated prospect.

Comments: After having a strong season as a rookie in 97/98 for Adirondack, Maxim had a poor training camp this year with the Red Wings and has the organization wondering if he has the skills to be an NHL blueliner. Though he moves well for a big man and has a solid shot from the point, he does not play like the giant that he is. Kuznetsov has a hard time making an effective pass out of the defensive zone to allow the forwards to transverse the neural zone with speed. His size will get him several chances to finally make it to the NHL, but the fact that he has been a healthy scratch several times in the AHL might tell the story after all is said and done. One thing for certain, Kuznetsov will spend at least one more entire year in the AHL before being given any opportunity to play in the NHL.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
37 0 3 3 24 n/a

2nd Round ( 52nd overall ): Philippe Audet, LW, 6-2 190, Adirondack (AHL ): Detroit’s 6th overall prospect.

Comments: After breaking his arm on the first day of training camp in 97/98, Phil returned only to have a difficult time in the AHL. He was only able to find the back of the net 8 times in over 50 games last season. Many in the Red Wing’s organization were wondering if this guy, who scored early and often in the QMJHL, would be able to put points on the board at the AHL level let alone in the NHL. So far in his second year with Adirondack, Audet has lead the team in goals and is second in points. However, he has not yet lived up to the organizations hopes that he would once develop into a 2nd line scorer. Phil has earned himself two separate call ups to the NHL this year, but his play showed that he is not yet ready for a regular shift in the NHL. In two years, with some hard work, Phil may be given the chance to show he can score in the NHL.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
48 15 14 29 63 n/a

3rd Round ( 58th overall ): Darryl Laplante, 6-1 190, Adirondack ( AHL ): Detroit’s 9th overall prospect.

Comments: In his rookie campaign last year with Adirondack, Darryl looked like he was developing much quicker than anyone hoped. He was strong at both ends of the ice and was able to put a fair amount of pucks behind opposing goalies. He even earned himself two games with the big club which is rare for a 20 year old in Detroit. This year, Darryl’s fortunes have taken a turn for the worse. His play to start the AHL season was erratic at best. He was not nearly as strong on the puck and his play dropped off considerably. Though he has picked it up as of late, Laplante will need at least another full year in the AHL before taking over a checking role in Detroit. He has never been a great goal scorer but he may fit in on the 3rd or 4th line someday.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
51 14 7 21 68 n/a

4th Round ( 104th overall ): Anatoly Ustugov, F, 5-10 165, Russia : Not Rated

Comments: Anatoly has struggled to develop his game to the level necessary to move into the North American professional leagues. Today he looks like a no shot prospect that will have an average career playing in the Russian leagues.

Stats: N/A

4th Round ( 125th overall ): Chad Wilchynski, D, ECHL: No Rated

Comments: After a few training camps with Detroit, Chad was unable to make the team. He left his junior team in 97 after Christmas to join a team in the ECHL.

Stats: N/A

4th Round ( 126th overall ): Dave Arsenault, G Toledo ( ECHL ): Detroit’s 26th overall rated prospect.

Comments: After playing half of the season in Adirondack last year and starting there again this year, Dave has been sent to Toledo to get some playing time. To date he has struggled in the Pros and may find it difficult to rise above the level of a minor league backup.

Stats:
W-L-T GAA Sav %
ADR 0-4-0 4.82 0.839
Toledo 8-5-1 3.47 0.898

6th Round ( 156th overall ): Tyler Perry, F ECHL: Not Rated

Comments: Tyler was never able to make Detroit’s roster and is now playing in the ECHL.

Stats: N/A

7th Round ( 182nd overall ): Per Eklund, W Swedish Elite League: Not Rated

Comments: Per played last year in the AHL but decided to return to Sweden when it became apparent that he was unlikely to make it to the NHL.

Stats: N/A

8th Round ( 208th overall ): Andrei Samokvalov, F Russia: Not Rated

Comments: Has yet to attend a Red Wings training camp and appears to be on track for a European only career.

Stats: N/A

9th Round ( 234th overall ): David Engblom, C AIK ( Sweden ): 30th overall prospect

Comments: David attended Detroit’s training camp this year because Detroit is short on centers to play in Adirondack. The fact that he was not offered a contract following camp despite the shortage indicates that he is unlikely to make the move to North America anytime soon.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
42 4 2 6 42 +2

1996

1st Round ( 26th overall ): Jesse Wallin, D, 6-1 200, Adirondack ( AHL ): Detroit’s 1st overall prospect

Comments: After being injured in a car accident following camp in 97 and breaking a foot in the WJC later in 97, Jesse came into camp this year and pulled a groin on day one. He had showed great skill in two previous camps but was assigned to Glens Falls. To date, in his rookie campaign, Jesse has been Adirondacks most consistent defenseman. He is a great character player that could be a top 4 defenseman in the NHL someday and maybe even a captain. Though he is not offensively gifted, he is a great skater and solid in the defensive zone. He could see regular time in Detroit as soon as next year.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
55 3 7 10 28 n/a

2nd round ( 52nd overall ) : Aren Miller, G Adirondack ( AHL ): Detroit’s 10th overall prospect

Comments: When Detroit drafted Aren, they hoped to be taking another Chris Osgood type player. They thought him to be a sure fire NHL backup and maybe even a starter. However, to date, Aren has struggled a bit. After losing his starting job in junior to a rookie in the WHL playoffs last year, Aren was assigned to Toledo following training camp. There his GAA ballooned to over 5.00. However, because Dave Arsenault had been struggling in Adirondack and needed playing time, Aren was called up to Glens Falls. Miller is currently backing up starter Jason Elliot but has again struggled as of late. He will be given a few years to work out his problems but the goaler logjam in front of him and his early problems indicate that he may never play for Detroit.

Stats:
W-L-T GAA Sav %
ADR 2-6-0 3.32 0.888
Toledo 1-4-1 5.30 0.862

4th Round ( 108th overall ): Johan Forsander, C 6-1 185 HV 71 ( Sweden ): Detroit’s 17th rated prospect

Comments: Johan had a great WJC in 97 for Sweden where he was the captain of the team. Though he does not have great offensive talent, he is a well rounded player that can skate and has character. It is possible that Johan could make the trip to North America next year. He is projected as a role player along the lines of P.J. Axelsson. He may be a late bloomer.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
44 4 3 7 6 -13

5th Round ( 135th overall ) : Michal Podolka, G Unknown: Not Rated

Comments: The last I heard, Michal lost his job as the starter for the Windsor Spitfires. He attended camp with Detroit in 97 but appears to have returned to Europe. He does not seem to be in Detroit’s future plans.

Stats: N/A

5th Round ( 144th overall ): Magnus Nilsson, W Malmo ( Sweden ): Detroit’s 27th overall rated prospect

Comments: After putting up some respectable numbers over the last two years in the Swedish Elite League, Magnus has not been given a major role this year in Malmo. He is not getting much ice time and has yet to register a point in 36 games. He may be given a chance to make the team in Adirondack next year.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
36 0 0 0 2 -4

6th round ( 162nd overall ): Alexander Jacques, F 5-10 180, Adirondack ( AHL ): Detroit’s 28th overall rated prospect.

Comments: Alex had a great camp in 97 where he made the team in Adirondack as a 20 year old. It soon became apparent that Jacques needed some more seasoning so he returned to junior half way through the year. This season, Alex has stuck in Glens Falls but has not shown NHL level skills. His slight size means that he is unlikely to play a role as a grinder in the NHL. Alex is a NHL long shot with very little upside.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
47 4 11 15 19 n/a

7th Round ( 189th overall ): Colin Beardsmore, C Toledo ( ECHL ): Not Rated

Comments: Colin has played for both Toledo and Adirondack this year. It is however becoming apparent that Colin is not yet ready for the AHL. His is a borderline AHLer with little NHL potential.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
ADR 13 0 1 1 2 n/a
Toledo 31 15 17 32 27 -13

8th Round ( 215th overall ): Craig Stahl, F ECHL: Not Rated

Comments: Craig never made the team in camp and has since began playing in the ECHL.

Stats: N/A

9th Round ( 241st overall ): Evgeny Afanasiev, F, Michigan National: Not Rated

Comments: Detroit took a chance on a long shot that did not pay off. He came to camp one year and has not been heard from since.

Stats: N/A

1997

1st Round ( 22nd overall ): Traded to Hartford ( Carolina ) in the Brendan Shanahan trade.

2nd Round ( 49th overall ): Yuri Butsayev, C 6-1 190, Lada Togliatti ( Russia ): Detroit’s 13th rated prospect.

Comments: Knowing that they did not have a 1st round pick, Detroit decided to take a conservative approach to the 1997 draft. The organization believed that Yuri would be a NHL player because of his grit and character. They knew, however, that he would be a 3rd or 4th line center with little chance to be a goal scorer. The problem has been that the Wings have been unable to sign Butsayev for two straight years. He has also been unable to match the offensive output he had in his rookie season in the Russian league. Many scouts outside the organization have commented that Detroit saw something in Butsayev that few others did and that he may never make it to the NHL. Hopefully, Ken Holland will be able to convince Yuri that he is better off in Glens Falls next year but only time will tell.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
23 4 3 7 n/a n/a

3rd Round ( 76th overall ): Petr Sykora, C 6-2 180, IHL : Traded to Nashville for Doug Brown

4th Round ( 102nd overall ): Quintin Laing, LW Kelowna ( WHL ): Not Rated

Commments: Detroit hoped to find another role player in Laing, but Quintin has failed to progress and will likely re-enter the 1999 draft and be released by the organization following the 98/99 season.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
58 9 7 16 82 -14

5th Round ( 129th overall ): John Wikstrom, D 6-3 205, Sweden: Detroit’s 22nd rated prospect.

Comments: After playing two years for Lulea in Sweden in a limited role, John was released. He attended training camp in Detroit this year but failed to make the team and was sent back to Sweden where he is playing in the 1st division. Wikstrom looks like a huge project at best and is unlikely to ever make it to the NHL.

Stats: N/A

6th Round ( 157th overall ): BJ Young, F 5-9 180 Adirondack ( AHL ): Detroit’s 16th rated prospect.

Comments: After being passed over in two drafts because of his size, Detroit took a chance on BJ after he scored 50 goals for Red Deer in the WHL in 96/97. He played last season in Adirondack and surprised everyone with a strong second half. He won the team’s unsung hero award and had progressed nicely. However, BJ has struggled a bit this year and needs to pick up his play. He does not have great speed or offensive prowess and his size is a huge question mark. It is doubtful that BJ will play a regular role in the NHL but he may be a productive minor leaguer for some time.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
44 10 12 22 119 n/a

7th Round ( 186th overall ): Mike Laceby, F Toronto ( OHL ): Not Rated

Comments: Has not played a game in the OHL this year after having a sub par season last year.

Stats: N/A

8th Round ( 213th overall ): Steve Wiljento, C Medicine Hat ( WHL ): Not Rated

Comments: Has struggle at the junior level this season and is likely to re-enter the 1999 draft and be released by the Red Wings.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
49 2 7 9 29 -22

9th Round ( 239th overall ) : Greg Willers, D 6-1 200 Sarnia ( OHL ): Detroit’s 21st rated prospect

Comments: Greg has developed into a decent power play specialist. He quarterbacks the Stings power play and has built a strong point total. The question is his play in the defensive zone. He will have to demonstrate strong defensive play next year in camp in order to make Adirondack’s roster. Greg’s father told me that Detroit was happy with his camp in 1998 so he may be on his way to Glens Falls next season with further improvement.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
57 15 30 45 30 +26

1998

1st Round ( 25th overall ) : Jiri Fischer, D 6-5 215, Hull ( QMJHL ): Detroit’s 2nd rated prospect

Comments: After being rated as a top 10 prospect prior to the 1998 draft, Jiri fell for one reason or another all the way to Detroit. Some have speculated that his offensive production may have been a factor, but whatever the reason, Detroit is happy to have him. This season, Jiri is tearing up the QMJHL. He is leading the league in defensive scoring and is among the leaders in power play points. He is strong at both ends of the ice and was described as a man among boys a few weeks ago by senior scout Jim Nill. Detroit once hoped that they would get a top 4 defenseman when they took Jiri, now they think they may have a #1 guy. In fact, some scouts have stated that Fischer may be the next Chris Pronger and could be the cream of the 1998 draft. That may be pushing it a bit but he is sure to be among the top players selected once his NHL career begins which may be sooner than later.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
58 20 46 66 125 +10

2nd Round ( 55th overall ): Ryan Barnes, W, 6-1 205, Barrie ( OHL ): Detroit’s 11th rated prospect
Comments: Ryan is leading the OHL in PIM and is a real cannon. He is not afraid of anyone and has some skill to go with that toughness. He is a raw power forward that Detroit hopes can follow the lead of Darren McCarty. He has good offensive skills that need to be developed. The only negative comments I have heard about him this year is that he will take a guy out no matter what it costs the team.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
53 22 22 44 237 -8

2nd Round ( 56th overall ): Tomek Valtonen, W 6-1 200,Plymouth ( OHL ): Detroit’s 12th rated prospect

Comments: Detroit saw a bit of Tomas Holmstrom in Tomek when they watched him last year in Finland where he was nick named the animal. Tomek came to North America this year when he was selected by Plymouth in the import draft. He has played a steady role on a team full of talent. Valtonen has suffered some injury problems and that has slowed his production. He needs another year in junior followed by several in the minors before becoming a regular in the NHL but he is progressing well.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
47 7 15 22 49 +7

3rd Round ( 84th overall ): Jake McCracken, G 5-11 190, SSM ( OHL ): Detroit’s 19th rated prospect

Comments: Jake has struggled this year and has all but lost his starting job to Jason Flick. He need to improve his overall game and at this point, has stalled in his progression.

Stats:
W-L-T GAA Sav%
15-12-3 3.67 0.882

4th Round ( 111th overall ): Brent Hobday, C/LW 6-1 200, Moose Jaw ( WHL ): Detroit’s 15th rated prospect

Comments: Brent has been a huge surprise in Moose Jaw this year. Though he was projected to go around the 7th round in the 1998 draft, he was taken far earlier. He has responded by putting some big numbers. Though he does not have the skill to be a goal scorer at the NHL level, he does play a well rounded game and has the size to be a grinder. He could even chip in 10-15 goals a year in the NHL if he continues to develop. Hobday should be in Adirondack next year where he will be well schooled in the tools of defensive hockey. He is projected as a Kirk Maltby type player.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
59 34 24 58 112 +2

5th Round ( 142nd overall ): Calle Steen, W, 6-0 190 Hammerby ( Sweden ): Detroit’s 24th rated prospect

Comments: Steen was unknown to most prior to the 1998 draft. He has played well in the 1st division this year and has established himself as a good play maker. He will need to come to North America soon to improve the level of play as he progresses. Right now he is a long shot to make it to the NHL.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
N/A 4 16 20 N/A N/A

6th Round ( 151st overall ): Adam Deleeuw , W, 6-0 210, Toronto ( OHL ): Detroit’s 18th rated prospect

Comments: Adam was a real find in the 6th round. He is a tough power forward that is having a strong season. He is not afraid to shed the gloves and does so regularly. Adam has also showed strong offensive skill and could be a late round gem. Another Darren McCarty type player?

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
57 23 19 42 178 +12

6th Round ( 171st overall ): Pavel Datsyuk, C, 5-11 180, Dynamo-Energiya ( Russia ): Detroit’s 25th rated prospect.

Comments: Detroit took a shot at a scoring center late in the 6th round. Datsyuk was not well know and unranked prior to the draft. Detroit hopes that he has not peeked and can improve his play enough to be an NHLer in the next few seasons. He is a long shot at best right now.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
N/A 7 6 13 N/A N/A

7th Round ( 198th overall ): Jeremy Goetzinger, D 6-2 205, Prince Albert ( WHL ): Detroit’s 23rd rated prospect.

Comments: I have heard very little good or bad about Jeremy. He is not having a great offensive year and seems to be a long shot to play in the NHL.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
37 2 13 15 38 +6

8th Round ( 226th overall ): David Petrasek, D, 6-1 205, HV 71 ( Sweden ): Not Rated

Comments: David is already 22 years old and was drafted to add depth to the system. At this point it is unclear whether or not he will make the trip to North America to play in the AHL or remain in Europe.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
40 3 3 6 44 -8

9th Round ( 256th overall ): Petja Pietilainen, F, 5-11 180, Saskatoon, ( WHL ): Not rated.

Comments: Though Petja is a great skater with good pucks skills, he has had trouble scoring at the junior level. The NHL is light years away right now.

Stats:
GP G A P PIM +/-
59 1 10 11 58 -16

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