The long-discussed rebuild in Detroit has yet to come and the Red Wings scouting staff is doing their best to make sure that no such rebuild has to take place.
With recent graduations to the NHL like Teemu Pulkkinen and Dylan Larkin – the latter of whom leads all NHL rookies in goals with 11 – there are still several prospects plying their trade at the AHL level looking to be the next call-up to help keep the Red Wings going.
In the past, the Detroit Red Wings found long-term success in partial thanks to a scouting department that unearthed gems like Sergei Fedorov, Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk past the draft’s first round. That trend has continued in recent years. Tomas Tatar, a second-round pick in 2009, burst onto the scene in 2014-15 with a 29-goal season while Gustav Nyquist, a fourth-round pick in 2008, posted consecutive seasons of 28 and 27 goals.
The Detroit Red Wings find themselves in a little bit of a different position that we are used to seeing them. Granted, they still consistently find regular season success and make the playoffs in the face of long odds, but the veteran core is finding itself being more and more minimized.
The youth movement in Detroit has already gotten underway, thanks to exciting players like Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar. Behind them, there are a plethora of enticing prospects that the Red Wings will be leaning heavily on in the future.
It has been a gradual change, but the draft picks that have been laying in wait for the Detroit Red Wings have started to make their impact on the team’s NHL roster. As some graduate to the NHL others have filled their spots in the AHL, leaving Detroit’s system very top-heavy with prospects playing professionally.
It seemed as though Detroit's much lauded playoff streak would come to an end in 2013-14 until a mid-season influx of young talent bolstered the ranks and reinvigorated a floundering Detroit Red Wings team. Prospects such as Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco were initially called up to fill in for injured NHL players, but they performed at such a high level that they never relinquished their jobs.