Detroit Red Wings Weekly Review: The Draft Lottery Looms

NEW YORK - JULY 22: The National Hockey League draft balls are checked prior to the lottery at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers on July 22, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images for NHLI)
NEW YORK - JULY 22: The National Hockey League draft balls are checked prior to the lottery at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers on July 22, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images for NHLI) /

After its eighth consecutive loss on February 5th, the Detroit Red Wings looked all but assured a high chance at getting a high lottery pick. But after gaining players back from Covid Protocol, the Red Wings saw improvement in their overall record as the season wore on. While it showed improvement from the year prior, it drove Detroit’s percentages down of having a top two choice or winning the draft.

Wednesday’s Draft Lottery will be an interesting twist as there are only two draws and the Red Wings have fallen in every draft going back to 2017. Might this be the year they hold steady (at sixth overall) or grab a top two pick?

There are a number of positives regardless of where they pick but obviously the higher the pick, the better chance they have of landing an impact player who makes the NHL sooner.

Hints at Re-Signing Luke Glendening

MLive’s Ansar Khan wrote that unless things go “sideways,” expect Luke Glendening to return to the Red Wings roster next season. Glendening was a regular in the Detroit lineup, and he saw an uptick in production this season. Everyone can parrot how great he was on the faceoff, but the Red Wings are a team desperate for scoring and production. They won’t get a 20 goals season from Glendening but he’s valuable in other ways.

Glendening is an effective forward who is only more valuable on a team where he can solely concentrate on his two way play. For a similar price tag, it should be a no-brainer to retain him as a veteran voice in a locker room budding with young, but inexperienced talent.

Would the Red Wings go after Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?

Boy has Ken Holland had a week. First the Oilers are bounced in four straight and now there’s news out of Edmonton that contract talks are breaking down with longtime center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. From a report on Yahoo, Sportsnet’s Elliote Friedman is reported as saying that “something happened here” which disrupted what should have been an extension. From Friedman:

"I believe it was always the plan that Nugent-Hopkins was going to stay and they wanted to keep him. I think anyone who is familiar with this situation will tell you they thought it was going to happen and it got mangled. And now I don’t know,”"

The Red Wings desperately need an offensive minded center who would give them a one-two punch with Dylan Larkin, where they could flip between the top and second line. Nugent-Hopkins is also a responsible forward head coach Jeff Blashill wants on his bench.

But what’s the price?

Nugent-Hopkins’ numbers don’t justify a raise beyond the $6 million he’s making right now, especially in a flat cap scenario. Though he’s 28, term would most likely be a factor and I don’t see Yzerman giving him a longer deal than maybe three years.

Nugent-Hopkins would certainly be an upgrade but the cost involved might be too rich for a team still trying to put the right pieces together.

Then there’s Seth Jones

This was also an interesting bit of news:

Friedman dropping news left and right–and this one is really something. If Jones really won’t re-sign, what would it take to get him to Detroit? Jones, Moritz Seider, Filip Hronek, and Troy Stecher? That’s suddenly a very improved blue line. Such stability would also help a guy like Dennis Cholowski with that much talent available. Maybe a trade ahead of time and then inking him to a longer term?

It would certainly cost the Red Wings. But it could also be an instant upgrade. Friedman reported that things could change, but as it stands now, it appears Jones wants to move on.

Though free agency is still a ways off, the names becoming available are making things very interesting.

Must Read. A closer look at Wings forwards before the Expansion Draft. light