3 first-round talents the Red Wings can steal in Round 2 of the NHL Draft

Picking in the middle of Round 2, there is always a first-round talent in the NHL Draft who can slip to the Detroit Red Wings.
Medicine Hat Tigers v Winnipeg Ice - Game 2
Medicine Hat Tigers v Winnipeg Ice - Game 2 / Jonathan Kozub/GettyImages
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Ryder Ritchie, RW/Prince Albert Raiders

Ryder Ritchie may not carry Andrew Basha’s size, but he still put on nearly 20 pounds after FC Hockey listed him at a meager 157 when I conducted my final mock draft in the first round. While I had Ritchie going No. 30 overall to the New York Rangers, it also more than means he can still fall well into the second round. 

One reason is that Ritchie, despite his skill in the offensive zone, has yet to put up at least a point per game, ending the 2022-23 season with 55 in 61 games while he turned around and registered 51 in 52 contests - regular and postseason combined this past year. This indicates he’s not a dominant player, even if he’s got the potential to be an elite playmaker

As you can also see from those numbers, Ritchie also didn’t make an incredible leap in production, unlike many other prospects heading into this season’s draft. Still, he’s got multiple years left in the WHL, and unlike Jesse Pulkkinen and Andrew Basha, he’s got a late birthday, August 2006, so it’s also something to take into strong consideration. 

He may also have the most upside of the trio listed here, and that would become especially true if he easily crossed the point-per-game threshold in 2024-25 while putting on another 10-15 pounds. In other words, everything about Ritchie could be solid but unimpressive, yet there is the potential to evolve into the upper-echelon, if not elite, categories in size, scoring, and overall playmaking.  


(Statistics powered by Elite Prospects)