Detroit Red Wings made a shortsighted pick at No. 15 overall in the NHL Draft

Who knows what Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman was thinking when he made Michael Brandsegg-Nygard the 15th pick in the NHL Draft?
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Okay, a disclaimer is in order: I’m a huge fan of Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, and the straightforward game he possesses is one that screams mistake-free hockey for the most part and solid play. Players like Brandsegg-Nygard are pivotal for championship hockey, or at least that will be the case when he’s eventually playing in the NHL. 

In that regard, I’ll commend general manager Steve Yzerman for making Brandsegg-Nygard the 15th pick. But there was also a much, much, much better option out there in Cole Eiserman. And yes, I know, Eiserman may be a one-dimensional player when he’s finally in the NHL, but the kid may have a better shot than a few established talents in the big league already. 

There was no way I would have taken Brandsegg-Nygard over Eiserman, and as I wrote this piece, Terik Parasak just went to the Washington Capitals. Another player I would have taken over Brandsegg-Nygard, to the point I even wrote about it earlier in the month.

Red Wings get a solid player in the NHL Draft, could have done better

Overall, I’m not going to be overtly critical here of the drafting of Michael Brandsegg-Nygard because of the value he could ultimately bring to the Red Wings. Instead, it’s the fact that, in my opinion, Yzerman didn’t roll with the best player or the player who could provide the most value to his franchise on the board. 

If you have a chance to get arguably the draft’s best scorer at 15th overall, you take it. Or if you have the opportunity to get an underrated points-producer that is Terik Parascak, you take it. The Red Wings can be a consistent team, thanks to their prospect pool, and Brandsegg-Nygard adds value. But in a few years’ time, Cole Eiserman will give opponents headaches. 

Maybe Brandsegg-Nygard will, too, when he’s eventually playing in the NHL, but I can’t call the pick a surefire steal at the moment. That said, I am a fan of Brandsegg-Nygard so I’m rooting for him, but I’m just not a fan of the pick at No. 15, considering who was still available.