One ideal prospect we would like to see fall to the Red Wings in the NHL Draft

The Detroit Red Wings will see 14 draft prospects go before they’re set to pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, but someone is bound to freefall.
2024 Kubota CHL Top Prospects Game
2024 Kubota CHL Top Prospects Game / Dale Preston/GettyImages
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Every time the NHL Draft rolls around, we know there will be someone slated to go in the top 10, falling to at least the No. 15 pick and beyond. But Steve Yzerman has shown us plenty of times since he took over as general manager that he has an eye for finding and scooping up talent when they come to him, and there is no doubt things will be any different come June 28th. 

But there is always that one prospect you look at and think, “If only they can fall just a few draft slots, we’ll have them in the system.” For the Red Wings, that player should be Tij Iginla, who shouldn’t make it past the top 10. But if he did, there are a few reasons Yzerman should take him the second Detroit is on the clock. 

You often see big-time forwards categorized as scorers, playmakers, or both, and Iginla falls into the latter category. His 47 goals last season should tell us that he has zero trouble finding the net, and if you factor in the playoffs, that number sits at a ridiculous 56 goals. Keep in mind, Iginla played in 75 regular and postseason games, giving him 0.75 goals per contest. 

Tij Iginla would be an epic fit for the Red Wings if he fell to No. 15

Tij Iginla also totaled 99 points across those 75 games when you factor in assists, giving him 1.32 per contest. To make matters better, he’s already 6’0, 185 lbs, so he doesn’t have much more of a frame to fill into despite the fact he doesn’t even turn 18 until August. 

We know Iginla is an outstanding playmaker and scorer, but the finer points of his game can use some work. His skating, physicality, and defense are all just okay, but for such a young prospect, he’s not going to be a complete package this year or even next year, so these “weaknesses” are nothing to worry about. 

Plus, he’s got the drive, a high hockey IQ, and patience to allow sequences to develop in different areas of the ice, so we’re not just talking about a player who is one-dimensional or just good in the offensive zone when the puck is on his stick. 

This exercise isn’t a projection that Iginla is going to fall to the No. 15 pick, and if I were to make such a prediction, he’s going between sixth and 10th overall. But if he’s part of the pool of prospects available at No. 15, Tij Iginla should be the Red Wings pick come draft day. 

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