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Red Wings 2 Truths & A Lie: Prospects, the Draft & the Yzerplan

Picking eighth in the NHL entry will be more than enough for Red WIngs GM Steve Yzerman to find a quality player

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Some Red Wings fans were unhappy with the 2019 selection of Moritz Seider. How do you like him now?

It’s a quiet period of time for the Detroit Red Wings. General manager Steve Yzerman is moving the team forward as fans wait for a new coach to be named, and wait with anticipation for the draft and free agency.

Here’s the latest edition of Red Wings 2 Truths and a Lie, focusing on what has been and what could be.

Truth: Picking 8th Will be Business as Usual for Yzerman

He hit home runs with Moritz Seider, Lucas Raymond, and Simon Edvinsson. He dealt up to acquire Sebastian Cossa. Why would anyone think Yzerman is fazed by picking lower in the top ten?

Though mock drafts will project, it’s evident that Yzerman is next to impossible to predict. At this point, Yzerman has gone with defenseman twice and just because Detroit needs a center doesn’t mean Yzerman will go in that direction. He’s proven it time and time again–he goes with the best player on the board. Should Cossa be another pillar to build off of, the Red Wings will be sitting pretty thanks to their first three drafts.

There’s no reason to think that Yzerman won’t be able to do it again with the lowest pick of his tenure in Detroit.

Truth: Don’t Bet Against Edvinsson and Johansson on the Opening Night Roster

Six months ago, DHN’s Bob Duff wrote about how Simon Edvinsson was a prospect “nearing” his time in Detroit. Edvinsson only improved as his season in the SHL wore on, and he’s certainly a candidate in the mold of Seider and Raymond capable of breaking camp with the team. The other? Albert Johansson, who mentioned fresh off his championship with Farjestad that he would like to be in North America next season. In his favor is a deep playoff run in a “man’s league” that ended with a championship.

If both Edvinsson and Johansson indeed show the new coaching staff that they do belong, suddenly, there’s a crowded–and young–defensive corps in Detroit. Along with Moritz Seider and Filip Hronek, both Edvinsson and Johansson would round out four spots. Jake Walman will likely be re-signed quickly, making it five while Gustav Lindstrom and Jordan Oesterle each have a year left on their respective deals. It also doesn’t include Olli Juolevi or Marc Staal, both owed new contracts as an RFA and UFA respectively. Staal would be the oldest defenseman by a mile should he re-sign. DHN’s Kevin Allen doesn’t see Juolevi sticking in Detroit.

But there’s the chance Yzerman might shop for someone as well.

While it’s unfair to project Seider-like expectations on either Edvinsson or Johansson, it’s fair to see that both are capable of making Yzerman’s job tougher as to who he keeps. A problem Yzerman would be more than happy to have. But many outlets are certainly taking note of the defensive depth in Detroit’s system.

Lie: The Yzerplan was Trusted from the Onset

Following Yzerman’s April 19, 2019 press conference, the love from the fanbase was palpable. Fans were done with Ken Holland’s vision for Detroit. The long-time captain was a breath of fresh air.

And then the 2019 draft happened. When Yzerman selected Seider, it was hardly a unified response. The response not only in the crowd, but on social media, was utter shock. Even Seider was stunned by his selection at six.

Far be it for anyone to not question a manager–after all-Yzerman is hardly infallible. But ask any Red Wings fan how they feel with the long-time captain at the helm, they’ll take it today, tomorrow, and next decade. But there was certainly some second guessing going on after a decade of Ken Holland picks in the first round that failed to materialize.

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If anything emboldens Red Wings fans, it’s the latest triumph for Tampa. The overwhelming majority–if not all–believe in Yzerman’s vision and are patiently waiting for it to take hold.

There was a brief moment of doubt. But he urged fans to Google Seider. He believed they’d be pleasantly surprised.

Turns out he was right about that, too.

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