Red Wings of Tomorrow is assessing every prospect in the Detroit Red Wings system and what they are projecting to be in the future. We’ll be looking at the strengths and weaknesses of their game, as well as what the future holds for them as they advance through the Detroit organization. Today, we feature right wing Kienan Draper
Position: Right Wing
How Acquired: Selected 187th overall, 2020 NHL entry draft
2021-22 Stats: (GP-G-A-P) 53-27-23-50 (with Chilliwack Chiefs BCHL)
Contract Status: Unsigned
Anticipated 2022-23 Team: University of Michigan (Big Ten)
When it came to making the best of his situation, Kienan Draper was on the top of his game in 2021-22. He was named MVP of the Chilliwack Chiefs and committed to playing at the University of Michigan.
Draper is the son of former Detroit Red Wings player and current director of amateur scouting Kris Draper. It probably doesn’t surprise you to know that young Draper was named the team’s most dedicated player. Like his father, Draper contributes overflowing energy to his team.
“Kienan is a player that we almost had to kick off the ice some days. Incredibly competitive, always working on his craft whether it be on the ice or in the gym.” – Head Coach and GM Brian Maloney
Our final 2021/22 award to present is our MVP Kienan Draper🏆
“Kienan did it all for our team this season. He pulled our team into the fight with his willingness in all areas and always seemed to step up with a big play to get us going at the right time.” – Brian Maloney pic.twitter.com/fRpoVLX3lR
— Chilliwack Chiefs (@Chiefs_Hockey) May 7, 2022
By committing to Michigan, Kienan Draper will give himself time to develop and give the Red Wings more time to analyze his abilities.
Estimated Time of Arrival in Detroit
You would assume that Kienan Draper might have had some inside information when he was drafted by the Red Wings. But Nick Cotsonika reported that Draper found out that the Red Wings drafted him by reading it on NHL.com.
As a seventh-round pick, young Draper has a difficult climb to the NHL. But hard work is in his DNA. His father enjoyed a celebrated career by putting an abundant amount of passion into being a member of the Grind Line. The younger Draper has his dad’s passion.
Kienan Draper doing Draper things. https://t.co/PMsDfWciEK
— George Malik (@georgemalik) February 10, 2022
“It’s definitely going to be special,” Kris Draper said. “There’s no doubt about it. He grew up in Joe Louis Arena, played for Little Casears AAA hockey his entire amateur career. He skated at the Joe, he skated at Little Caesars Arena, he skated at Belfor. I’m proud of him, I’m proud of the work that he put in.”
Kienan Draper’s career has been marked by continued improvement. He’s 6-foot-1 and change and already 200 pounds. He gives off the aura of a player who will find a way to make it to the show. He can help a team in a variety of ways. You could expect he would play at least two seasons at Michigan, although how he plays and how the Red Wings feel about him will make the final determination. You may not see him turning pro until 2024. He will be 22 then.