The Detroit Red Wings fans may be focused on the here and now. This implies the Red Wings fans are focused on the NHL roster, who might be in and out moving forward, and which players may help them make a run. However, the pipeline of Red Wings prospects is still plentiful, and Steve Yzerman is working on future plans well beyond 2023-24.
There was some news on Wednesday, however, with regard to the Detroit Red Wings first-round pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. Ninth overall pick in this summer's draft, Nate Danielson, has been traded from his WHL team to another club within the league. Danielson was the Brandon Wheat Kings captain but has since been traded to the Portland Winterhawks,
It indeed was not a minor deal, as the Winterhawks had to cough up two players and three draft picks in exchange for the Wheat Kings captain. Danielson, who just returned to the WHL after playing for Team Canada in the IIHF World Junior Championships, is looking to finish the 2023-24 season out strong with the Winterhawks.
According to the trade announcement from The Hockey News, Brandon is in fifth place, while Portland is in second. As the piece noted, Brandon will likely still clinch a playoff berth, but they are not a serious contender, while the Winterhawks are expected to make a run in the WHL postseason. The point is that Danielson will get some good experience under his belt as part of this trade. Adversity is a good thing.
Detroit Red Wings prospect Nate Danielson traded between WHL teams.
Before leaving for World Juniors, Danielson had played in 26 games for the Wheat Kings, with 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 total points. The team captain was off to a great start with his point-per-game pace, also managing to be a plus-six on the campaign.
He then departed for the U20 World Junior Championships, where Danielson made a run with Team Canada, playing in five games, tallying a goal and two assists, being plus-two in his stint away from the WHL. Now, he'll head to Portland and look to get acclimated with his new club.
This may not matter a lot for the Red Wings, as Danielson was not going to get to Detroit in 2023-24, but there's something to be said about the youngster. He was the captain of Brandon's team and has found himself traded. He played for Brandon in each of the last four seasons, so it is a shock being on the move, coming state-side to Washington state.
But, the 19-year-old Canadian prospect will go through some adversity, which is good for him. Hopefully, he can get into a groove with Portland, and when Danielson does arrive in Detroit, the WHL experience will have only helped make him a better player.