Red Wings 2000 Draft Preview

By Matt Condon
The Detroit Red Wings enter this weekend’s 2000 Entry Draft not having drafted an NHL scorer since 1990, when they took Keith Primeau and Slava Kozlov with their 1st and 2nd Round selections. Yuri Butsayev, Detroit’s 2nd Round pick in 1997, has emerged as more of a Tomas Holmstrom type grinder than a scorer, and with a decent core of defensemen, led by Jiri Fischer, the Wings will definitely look to draft a goal scorer in 2000.

Finding an NHL caliber scorer with the 29th overall selection could be the Wings best bet. Sergei Soin is a possibility at the 29th spot, finishing as the 12th rated European in the final CSB Rankings. Soin possesses blazing speed and good size, listed at an even 6’0″, 176 pounds. Artem Kriukov is an outside possibility when the Wings select at the 29th spot. Kriukov has great size, standing at 6’3″, but needs to add more weight to his 180 pound frame. Kriukov finished as the 14th rated European by the Central Scouting Bureau. Tomas Surovy is an intriguing possibility. Surovy scored 25 goals and 54 points in 39 games, while playing against much older players in the Slovakian First Division. Surovy is very solid, standing 6’1″, 191 pounds, and finished as the 20th rated European in the final CSB Rankings. The Wings most likely pick at 29th overall is Plymouth Whalers left wing Tomas Kurka. Kurka finished with an impressive 36 goals in 64 games for the Whalers. Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland was at every Plymouth game down the stretch, giving Kurka every opportunity to showcase his value. Jarret Stoll could be a solid pick when the Red Wings step to the podium. Stoll had an outstanding season for Kootenay of the WHL. Stoll, who turns 18 this weekend, potted 37 goals in 71 games, totaling 75 points for the season. Any of these players could prove to be a great pick when the Wings make their selection.

Once the first round concludes, looks for the Wings to attempt to fill some positional needs in the latter rounds. The Wings are extremely thin on the right side, and adding a few right wingers in this draft could prove a wise decision for General Manager Ken Holland. Adding a goaltender in the middle rounds is also a strong possibility for the Wings, with Jason Elliot being the only marginal goaltending prospect in the organization. All and all, this draft could prove to be a crucial one for the Red Wings, as they begin to cut ties with some of their high priced veterans, and move in some youngsters who have been waiting patiently in the minors.