The Detroit Red Wings can’t complain too much about owning the No. 9 pick for next month’s NHL draft. After all, No. 9 is important in Detroit hockey history. Gordie Howe wore that number. It hangs from the rafters in Little Caesars Arena.
Maybe the No. 9 pick will be lucky for the Red Wings this season.
That would be welcome because the Red Wings have no luck when it comes to the NHL draft lottery. Since 2017, when they started missing the playoffs, they have moved down eight spaces. They have never won a draft lottery.
The Chicago Blackhawks won the lottery, giving them the opportunity to draft generational talent Connor Bedard. The Anaheim Ducks, with former Red Wings assistant GM Pat Verbeek in charge, will pick No. 2, probably selecting Adam Fantilli out of the University of Michigan.
The lack of lottery luck continued Monday night when their five percent chance of winning lottery didn’t pay off. They stayed at No. 9 for the 2023 NHL Draft, scheduled for Nashville on June 28-29. The Red Wings, thanks to a trade with the Vancouver Canucks, will also have the No. 18 pick. They will also have three second-round picks.
The last time the Red Wings had the ninth pick they chose Michael Rasmussen who has developed into a crucial performer.
Montreal Hockey Now recently ranked the top 64 players for the 2023 draft. That prospect list can be found here:
Here are some players projected to land around pick No. 9 through No. 12
Center Oliver Moore (Team USA)
Some say he is the best skater in the draft. At worst, he’s among the best skaters. His skating reminds some scouts of Dylan Larkin. Some mock drafts have Oliver landing in the top seven, but others have him going around No. 10. He’s a nifty puck-handler. Moore makes those around him better. He has 73 points in 59 games for the U.S. National Team Development Program.
Right Wing Eduard Sale (HC Kometa Brno, Czechia)
Several mock drafts have Sale (6-2, 180) landing in Detroit. He scored seven goals and added seven assists playing in the Czech professional league this season. Sale put up six points in seven games at the World Junior Championships. His hockey IQ and vision are his best assets. Quality passer. TSN Scouting Insider Craig Button has him ranked in his top five.
Center Dalibor Dvorsky (AIK, Sweden 2)
He’s a Slovak playing in Sweden’s second division league. Central scouting has him as the No. 3-ranked European player for this year’s draft. Dvorsky is 6-1 and plays a quality two-way game. He can distribute the puck, and he can fire it. Dvorsky has been solid at the World Junior Championships the past two seasons.
Forward Ryan Leonard (Team USA)
The Massachusetts native scored 50 goals in 55 games for the U.S. National Team Development Program. Leonard can play all three forward positions. He is headed to Boston College. “He can play any offensive position but he’s probably a wing,” said Russ Cohen, a scouting insider for Sirius Radio. “Has good speed but it’s his gritty mentality that sets him apart. He’s a physical specimen, he takes puck battles personally, his words, and knows how to make space on the ice. Leonard will go to the net as well as scoring with that heavy wrist shot goal as well. I guarantee he will give the best interview. And that could resonate as well.