Detroit Red Wings & the 2024 NHL Draft: here’s who they should draft, who to avoid

Do you agree with our thoughts on who the Detroit Red Wings should or should not choose at 15th overall in the 2024 NHL Entry Level Draft?

It’s that time of year again. A bit like the holiday season where we all come together, to celebrate our hopes and dreams. Even though some dreams (and even hopes) turn into nightmares, each entry level draft breathes new life into the Detroit Red Wings organization and its fans.

There’s always a healthy debate, just like my family when we get together. For us Detroit Red Wings fans it’s what we should do with the 15th overall pick?

Some fans would like to trade it to have immediate help with the NHL club. While others may want to trade back in the draft to acquire even more picks. These are all interesting theories, but I’m afraid there’s too many possibilities and not enough time to type it out before the NHL Entry Draft is upon us.

Instead, we are pretending like the Detroit Red Wings will just select at the 15th overall position.

We are reviewing a possible candidate to avoid and another to take at 15th overall for the Detroit Red Wings at the 2024 NHL Entry Level Draft.

Please note that in this exercise we are just having fun. Each prospect has great value in his own right and deserves a chance to be selected by an NHL team. We just have our own preferences. Likely, general manager, Steve Yzerman, will walk up to the podium and select someone we’ve only discussed once or twice in passing (if that).

Should be avoided: Michael Brandsegg-Nygård (Ben Heydt)

With the majority of draft experts predicting a substantial run on defensemen early in the draft, the Detroit Red Wings might finally have some draft luck fall their way and have quite a few options to take at forward to help replenish the prospect pool.

Michael Brandsegg-Nygård could almost certainly still be available at 15th overall, however I would prefer to pass on the power forward right winger. He is a good player and it is hard to openly declare I would prefer to not add a good player to the Red Wings, but he is not what the franchise needs at this moment in time.  

They are stockpiled with responsible 2-way forwards and desperately lack any firepower.  With names like Cole Eiserman, Michael Hage, and Tij Iginla projected to be in that range, I would much rather take a swing at someone who can be the one to pull the trigger on a powerplay that has notoriously struggled recently.  

In addition, it seems that a lot of the "wow" defensive plays that Brandsegg-Nygård puts on film is due to his active stick. I have questions as to whether or not that success may translate into the NHL where playing the body is more prevalent for stopping an offensive attack. 

Should be taken: Stian Solberg

I know, I know, another left-handed defenseman. This one’s different, though, and not just because he’s Norwegian as opposed to Swedish. 

We have a plethora of left-handed defensemen in our system. I’ve seen Simon Edvinsson, Albert Johansson, William Wallinder, Shai Buium, and Eemil Viro more than a handful of times live and on video. I can assure you that none of them are Stian Solberg.

According to Elite Prospects, he’s a mean, nasty player to go up against. Meanwhile, McKeen’s Hockey raves about his protection of the puck in transition and gap control. While we have plenty of oversized defensemen who can play physical, very few consistently play physical.

With the likes of Sebastian Cossa making a push for the big club as soon as next year (though likely not until the middle of the season or 2025-26 season), we could use someone who consistently emphasizes physical play to help with clearing the crease. It was obvious in the playoffs that teams knew his value and ran over him every chance they had. 

Of course, a player isn’t worth a selection on just his physical play, which is where McKeen’s Hockey has stepped in for my review of Solberg. He’s good at gap control and protecting the puck in transition. At times, he can be slow to react (but who isn’t). Solberg needs to improve his stickhandling and vision, especially making plays in high pressure situations. 

Sometimes keeping calm in the high pressure situations cannot be taught, but I look to someone like Simon Edvinsson. Although they are two different players, seeing his progression in his decision making (especially in higher pressure situations) gives me hope that the Detroit Red Wings can develop someone like Solberg too. 

I know that Niklas Kronwall can help develop his stickhandling and vision, so those two don’t worry me. If he needs to improve his skating overall, I have confidence that will improve with the Detroit Red Wings organization too.

This definitely wouldn’t be the sexy pick, no offense to Solberg, but picture this: a top-4 with Edvinsson and Moritz Seider, Axel Sandin-Pellikka and Solberg in 2026-27. Sounds like a dream to me.

Having Solberg on the second pairing with a guy like Sandin-Pellikka can help. Sandin-Pellikka is a bit on the smaller side. Though he isn’t shy or soft, Sandin-Pellikka has yet to face the size and meanness of the NHL, a completely different world than the one he’s in currently in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). 

Solberg can buy real estate and time on the ice for Sandin-Pellikka to do his thing (by his physical play, riling the other team up, and drawing in players–as they tend to go after players like Solberg)

Next. june2822. NHL Draft Primer: Does Steve Yzerman like Cole Eiserman?. dark