With the NHL semifinals now set, the Detroit Red Wings now officially own the No. 6 and No. 22 first round picks in the upcoming draft.
Let the speculation begin.
The No. 6 pick is their own and the No. 22 pick was acquired from Washington in the Anthony Mantha-Jakub Varana swap. The Red Wings have three second-round picks, with the extra picks coming from the New York Rangers (Marc Staal trade) and Edmonton Oilers (Andreas Athanasiou swap).
Early mock drafts have the Red Wings selecting Swedish goalie Jesper Wallstedt because he is believed to be on par with last year’s highly-touted goalie prospect Jaroslav Askarov.
General managers historically hesitate to draft goalies in the top 10. The Red Wings could also select Swedish forward William Eklund, defenseman Simon Edvinsson, Western Hockey League right wing Dylan Guenther or U.S.-born defenseman Luke Hughes or Canadian center Cole Sillinger with the No. 6 pick.
William Eklund made a big impact with @DIFHockeyse as an 18-year-old to earn SHL Rookie of the Year honors in 2020-21.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 27, 2021
Much depends on what happens in front of Detroit.
Red Wings could be interested in big WHL goalie
The Red Wings are likely to draft a goalie first two rounds because they need one. They could draft 6-foot-6 goalie Sebastian Cossa at No. 22. He plays for Edmonton in the WHL. Some scouts believe Cossa is almost as desirable as Wallstedt..
Other potential second round picks: Sarnia goalie Benjamin Gaudreau or Toronto Marlies goalie Tristan Lennox.
The draft begins with the first round July 23. And it continues the following day with rounds 2-7 are July 24.
The Red Wings are one of four teams with multiple first-round picks. The Columbus Blue Jackets have three first rounders, while the New Jersey Devils Devils, Minnesota Wild and Red Wings have two each.
The Arizona Coyotes forfeited their first-round pick because they violated Combine Testing rules.