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Yzerman Won’t Be Trading Red Wings Top Pick

Detroit GM still in best player available mode



Steve Yzerman
Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman fully expects to be making his pick with the 15th overall selection of the NHL entry draft.

Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman isn’t ruling out making a draft at this week’s NHL entry draft. What he can’t currently envision at the present time is a scenario where he’d be moving his first-round pick.

Detroit is slated to be selecting 15th overall in Friday’s first round of the draft at Las Vegas, and Yzerman is expecting to be making that selection.

“I’m not in a big hurry to be trading our picks, in particular our first-round selection or first-round pick,” Yzerman said. “I would be open to it, but I don’t want to do that.”

The Red Wings already have moved a first-rounder in this draft. They dealt an extra selection, 25th overall, that they got from the Boston Bruins in the Tyler Bertuzzi trade to acquire forward Alex DeBrincat from Ottawa last summer.

“We traded a first round pick, actually, in this year’s draft for Alex DeBrincat last summer, and it turned out to be a late first that Ottawa has,” Yzerman acknowledged. “So I’m not afraid of doing that. But I don’t anticipate at this stage us making a trade for a player that would involve the 15th pick moving up or down.”

Of course, that situation is always subject to change if a team were to present to Yzerman an offer that he couldn’t refuse. That hasn’t happened yet, and he thinks it’s unlikely to happen prior to him stepping up to the podium on Friday night to be making Detroit’s first selection.

“I would say at this stage, I don’t anticipate or I wouldn’t expect any blockbuster trades from Detroit involving the 15th pick,” Yzerman said. “There’s not really that opportunity out there for us.”

Red Wings Will Emphasize Talent

As for what type of player he’ll be seeking at 15th overall, the Detroit GM admits that their organizational depth is looking better at certain positions. Goal, defense and even center come to mind.

Still, Yzerman isn’t certain that the Red Wings organization is yet at the stage to be pigeonholing their choice down to filling a specific need. Even though the club appears to be top heavy in defense prospects, Yzerman wasn’t even willing to rule out the possibility that they’d be selecting another rearguard.

“I’m not going to sit here and tell you we’re definitely not taking a defenseman in the first round, but potentially, we look at it,” Yzerman said. “Whatever you do in the first round or second round, maybe it’s time to start (filling specific requirements).

“We need to address some other areas. So we’re looking at that. That 15th pick, that’s still a pretty high pick. It’s important that we get a good player.

“It’s important that we get a player that, honestly, that plays for us in the NHL. We need that. And it’s not as simple as we all think, or it’s not as automatic maybe, as we all like to think it is. So it’s important that we get a player.”