The Red Wings maintained their recent trend of looking towards the CHL with their early picks and adding depth later in the draft with prospects playing overseas. The team's first five selections all came from Canadian Major Junior leagues, with six total CHL picks in the 2011 draft class equally distributed among the QMJHL, OHL, and WHL.
Detroit made nine total selections in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and came away with five defensemen and four forwards. The club traded their first round pick (24th overall) to Ottawa in exchange for a pair of second round picks at 35th and 48th, and the team still came away with a prospect considered by many a first round talent. With the blue line a hot topic of debate in Detroit after the retirement of Brian Rafalski, the team added a pair of high-end defensive prospects in the second round. Three more defensemen were added late in the draft, strengthening one of the system's weaker positions.