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Can Red Wings’ Yzerman Pull A Rabbit Out of His Hat at 15th?

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Detroit Red Wings Steve Yzerman will be a busy GM over the next couple of weeks

LAS VEGAS — Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman came to the draft to continue to stockpile prospects for years down the road.

But it’s also true Yzerman is trying to help his team for this season.

Although Yzerman rumors rarely leak out, he has kicked the tires on some trades and cleared some cap space with the hope of re-signing some UFAs (Shayne Gostisbehere and David Perron). If he has the cap space — and that’s not a given — Yzerman would likely make a run at either Steve Stamkos or Jonathan Marchessault if they enter the free agent marketplace.

Yzerman has told the media that he would look to upgrade his goaltending if an opportunity presented itself. The Red Wings are linked to possibly making a trade for John Gibson. Based on what that would cost Yzerman in assets, that doesn’t seem like a high-probability occurence.

Yzerman Continue to Dig

But we have all learned not to dismiss Yzerman’s aggressiveness.

The Red Wings’ No. 15 pick represents the latest first round pick the Red Wings have had since Yzerman became general manager in 2019.

“I’m fully expecting to get a very good prospect, and I’m hopeful that prospect turns into a very good player one day,” Yzerman said. “So you know what? We feel good.”

It’s not like NHL teams don’t find top players at No. 15. Erik Karlsson (2008) was drafted 15th, as was Al MacInnis (1981).

Russ Cohen of NHLdraftbuzz.com says the Red Wings will be looking for Beckett Sennecke, Sacha Boisvert or Michael Hage with the 15th. Here is his scouting report on those players:

Center Beckett Sennecke (Oshawa Generals)

“He’s shooting up like a meteor and it’s possible he will be gone at that point. This right wing had a growth spurt and now he’s a 6’2” power forward. His speed is good but can get better as he gets stronger and used to his new frame, assuming he’s done growing. He had 68 points in 63 regular season games and added 10 goals and 12 assists in 16 playoff games. He has good stick and puck skills. When he crosses over, he can get the inside step towards the net and that gets him points. He is a second-line talent who may see first-line duty if everything comes together.”

Center Sacha Boisvert (Heading to North Dakota)

“Scored 36 goals and added 32 helpers in 61 games for the Muskegon Lumberjacks. It was a banner season for him, and the best is yet to come. He has good size at 6’2”, he has to work on adding some more muscle but this future North Dakota regular has a very high ceiling. He’s very dangerous off the rush.  He scores on the rush. Boisvert is dangerous down low. He can change up and shorten his wrist shot. He is good on draws and will use the body.”
15 is a good spot for him because he is the kind of player that will come out of college, stronger, faster, and ready to turn pro with some gusto. He’s a determined kid and he’s done a lot of work in his draft year to get where he is today.”

Center Michael Hage (Committed to play at the University of Michigan)

“Michael Hage is a speedy center who overcame a shoulder injury last season. He came into this season at around 80% in November.  Hage led the Chicago Steel in scoring with 75 points in 54 games. 33 of those were goals. In the playoffs, he had two goals and two assists in two games. He has second-line center potential. His speed and scoring aren’t in question. When he gets stronger that will help him with face-offs but there are concerns about his two-way game.”
“We’re more than comfortable sitting where we are,” Yzerman said, “and very confident that we’re going to get a real prospect that will be on our team one day and have a positive impact for us.”