The second path is for the Detroit Red Wings to make big moves.
Make a big-time move. This seems like the most likely and the best option, in my opinion. Yzerman has acquired a plethora of draft capital over the past few seasons and currently holds two first-round picks as well as three high second-round picks in this year’s draft.
Next offseason, they hold another two first-round picks. Realistically, drafting five players in the top 43 picks should not be the preferred route going into the draft. Yzerman has been on record stating that he prefers to acquire players and known talent over unknown assets.
So it would seem that the only reason he has stockpiled draft picks is to use them to move up in the draft and take a huge piece like Matvei Michkov, or more likely, add the top-end goal scorer that they desperately need.
Kyle Connor and Alex DeBrincat have been the most popular names floating around, mainly because they seem likely to be on the market as well as both being Michigan natives. Whether that is true or not, it still requires two things; the interest from Detroit, which seems likely, and the willingness of Winnipeg or Ottawa to part with them for the right price.
The price from Ottawa will likely be too high due to the fact they will add a division rival tax to the price tag. Regardless, it is time to start the push to the playoffs and no longer be a member of the draft lottery club.
Even with the expected roster additions of Simon Edvinsson, Marco Kasper, and Carter Mazur, there is still a gaping hole in the scoring department. Without adding that missing piece, Detroit will be pulled into the murky middle of the league with no true sight out.
Not good enough to make the playoffs and not bad enough to acquire a top draft pick. Lather, rinse, and repeat. The current roster has shown when healthy; they can compete with the wild card teams and contend for a wild card spot. The only thing holding them back is that missing piece to put them into the dance.
Detroit will likely need to move a first, a second, and an additional piece of value, whether that is a prospect or another future pick to find a partner to trade with in order to gain a 30-40 goal scorer.
On July 7th, we will see what kind of moves Steve Yzerman is bold enough to make.