The hardest part about trying to predict the Detroit Red Wing’s pick at 6th overall is getting a read of Steve Yzerman. He illustrated just how little he cares about projected draft order with the selection of Moritz Seider at 6th overall in the 2020 draft; a player typically projected as a mid-to-late first rounder. With this year’s draft even less predictable than the last, what selection could Yzerman shock the world with?
Fabian Lysell is perhaps the wildest of wildcards in the 2021 NHL Draft. Although he’s typically mocked as a mid-to-late first rounder, some have him as a top ten and even top five player on the draft boards.
Lysell had an odd 2021 season, which is a large part of the reason general managers might skip over the talented winger. He began 2021 with Frolunda, stuck in the organization’s junior leagues. In an attempt to show off his skills in the pros, Lysell requested the organization move him to another team willing to promote him from to the pros. He eventually found himself playing (limited) pro minutes with another SHL organization, Lulea.
Lysell’s lack of production also factors in to his draft stock. Although he was solid in the juniors (3 goals and 10 assists in 11 games), Lysell netted only a goal and two assists in 26 games with Lulea.
So why is this player with a weird season and subpar production an option for Detroit at 6? Raw talent. Lysell has one of the highest ceilings in the draft this year; his vision and unbelievable speed combine for a lethal playmaker that just drives the offense. If developed properly, there is a chance Lysell could easily become one of the top three players taken in the entire draft. Yzerman is not afraid to take on projects, and Lysell might be skilled enough to entice Detroit into snagging him much earlier than expected.