What should the Detroit Red Wings draft board look like?

VICTORIA , BC - JANUARY 2: Team Captain Mikey Anderson #26, Jack Hughes #6 (centre) and Joel Farabee #28 of the United States raise their sticks in celebration following a 3-1 quarter-final game victory versus the Czech Republic at the IIHF World Junior Championships at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre on January 2, 2019 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
VICTORIA , BC - JANUARY 2: Team Captain Mikey Anderson #26, Jack Hughes #6 (centre) and Joel Farabee #28 of the United States raise their sticks in celebration following a 3-1 quarter-final game victory versus the Czech Republic at the IIHF World Junior Championships at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre on January 2, 2019 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
(Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

Kaapo Kakko -RW

One of the main reasons I have Kaapo Kakko ranked second rather than first is because he’s primarily an NHL winger.  If he were an elite center, Kakko would have the opportunity to unseat Jack Hughes to be the primary target in the draft.

That says a lot, Hughes is expected to be a franchise changing talent, but Kakko is no slouch, the Finnish winger will have an opportunity at some point throughout his NHL career to transition into a top center, but at this point, he is better-suited playing on the wing.

Kakko is currently playing professional hockey in Finland which makes him the most NHL ready prospect in the draft.  Kakko is 6’2, 180 pounds and has achieved 22 goals and 38 points in 45 games this season with TPS Turku in the Finish SM-liiga league.

Dobber Prospects had some interesting observations on Kakko:

"After impressing everyone at the World Juniors and scoring the golden goal for Team Finland, Kakko was one of the best players in the league for the second half where he put up 13 goals and 18 points in 18 games. It appeared like he realized his linemates are unable to finish the scoring chances he created for them, so he decided to take matters into his own hands and be more aggressive in finishing the plays himself. Kakko’s strong season at the pro level has made it a two-horse race for the first overall selection in the summer."

Kakko is a unique talent and his needle points towards being a superstar caliber player.  If the Detroit Red Wings happen to land the second spot in the NHL draft, they will select Kaapo, and it will be the easiest decision to make.

The second pick is the most comfortable position to pick in this draft.  The team who lands the first spot will need to choose between Kakko and Hughes, and it is anything but an easy choice.  The team who selects second will already have their decision made for them.

I would be thrilled if the Wings found themselves in a position to add Kakko to the Detroit Red Wings and I would expect him to play on the second line immediately next season possibly moving Hirose down the depth chart playing with Athanasiou and Zadina.