Connect with us

Detroit Red Wings

Former Red Wings Prospect Symbol of Inexact Science of Drafting

Berglund was a 2019 Detroit drsftee



Emmitt Finnie, Red Wings prospect
Emmitt Finnie, a 2023 seventh-round pick, already has a contract with the Red Wings.

Unless you’re a devoted reader of European hockey transactions, you probably didn’t even notice the former Detroit Red Wings prospect who was on the move in the Swedish lower divisions.

Defenseman Gustav Berglund is switching teams. He’s leaving Karlskrona HK and joining Brodernas/Vasby.

So what, you ask. Big deal, you say.

Well, yes and no. Both of those teams perform in HockeyEttan, the Swedish third division. It’s not home to NHL prospects.

However, less than five years ago, the Red Wings were viewing Berglund as an NHL prospect. In 2019 – Steve Yzerman’s first draft as Detroit GM – the Red Wings would select Berglund 177th overall.

At the time, the team was excited by Berglund’s potential.

“He’s a talented guy with good size,” said Hakan Andersson, Detroit’s head European scout. “I’m hoping within a year or so he’s going to challenge for a spot on the Swedish World Junior team. That’s the first step.”

That he’s currently is a third-division player shows it was a step too far for Berglund. Over his pro career, he’s managed to play just 15 games in the SHL.

What Berglund has also served to emphasize is the inexact science that is the NHL entry draft. The reality is that once teams get beyound the first round, they are basically just throwing darts.

Red Wings Sign Pair Of Seventh Round Picks

From Yzerman’s five drafts, the club has let two second-rounders – Robert Mastrosimone (2019) and Theodor Niederbach (2020) – go without a contract offer. At the same time, the Red Wings inked a pair of seventh-round selections – Carter Gylander (2019) and Emmitt Finnie (2023) – to NHL entry-level contracts.

Research shows exactly how much of a crapshoot the NHL entry draft truly is for teams. A study conducted by Dobber Prospects found that 74% of first-round picks become NHLers. By the time the second round gets underway, the chance of becoming an NHLer slips to 34%. It’s 27% for a third-round pick and 22% for a fourth-rounder. Those chosen in the fifth round or later will make it to the show just 14.3% of the time.

So far, the Red Wings have made 51 draft selections in the five years Yzerman has been the GM. To date, just five of them have played an NHL game. Four of that group of five – Moritz Seider (2019), Lucas Raymond (2020), Simon Edvinsson (2021) and Marco Kasper (2022) – were first-round selections.

The other player to make it the NHL is 2019 sixth-rounder Elmer Soderblom. He was tabbed 18 selections prior to Berglund.

So go ahead, stockpile those draft picks. All it does is give a team more darts to throw at the draft board.

Click to comment
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments