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NHL Draft: Red Wings Go For Goalie In Fourth Round

Third-round pick Becker good for 96 points in the WHL.



Landon Miller, Red Wings
Sault Ste. Marie goalie Landon Miller was the 126th overall selection of the Red Wings.

Max Plante’s stature is growing in hockey circles and the Detroit Red Wings proved to be enamored with how he’s sizing up. The Red Wings made the son of former NHL forward Derek Plante the 47th player chosen as the second day of the NHL entry draft got underway Saturday morning.

In two years, Plante shot up from 5-foot-6, 127 pounds to his current stature of 5-11 and 177. Last season, he accounted for six goals and 29 points in 25 games for the USNTDP in the USHL.

“I just got faster and stronger,” Plante said. “Coming into the (USA Hockey) program I was a short, skinny guy. I went to work the last two years and I thought I got faster and played with a lot more pace.

“(Adding) 50 pounds and five inches, I guess that’s a lot.

Center Ondrej Becher, Detroit’s third-round pick, has a chance to be a high value pick. He put up 96 points for Prince George in the Western Hockey League. That included 32 goals. Becher played impressively at the last World Junior Championship. He boasted 10 points in seven games for the Czechs. The Red Wings took him 80th overall.

Red Wings Go For Goalie In fourth Round

The Red Wings went for a netminder with the 126th overall pick in the fourth round. They chose Landon Miller of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The 18-year-old puckstopper put up a 2.79 GAA and 17-6-2 record during the 2023-24 season. However, his save percentage was a pedestrian .889.

At 6-foot-4 and 183 pounds, Miller certainly has NHL size between the pipes.

“I think I’m a really smart goalie,” Miller said. “I’ll try to out think the opponent. I like to use my size and my athleticism to my advantage.”

Goaltending is a position requiring plenty of patience. That being said, playing the waiting game wasn’t sitting well with Miller.

I wouldn’t be lying to you if I said it was stressful,” Miller said. “You’re sitting up there thinking about it the whole time and when it finally happens, you don’t know how to react.

“My head went for a spin and my feet went numb. It felt like a movie. It was a dream come true, really.”

Whipple Heading To WJSS

Taken 144th overall in the fifth round, defenseman John Whipple from the USNTDP is a mobile defender who’s known to be a punishing hitter. Accounting for 1-3-4 numbers in 27 games, Whipple is an NCAA commit to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. He’s been invited to play for the USA at next month’s World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Michigan.

Swedish forward Charlie Forslund (176th) can play either wing. He’s proven to be a prolific scorer, albeit at the lower levels of Swedish hockey. Known for his quick release and ability to find open ice in the scoring areas, Forslund would tally 13 goals in only seven games with Falun IF of the second division of Swedish junior hockey.

He also got into 19 games with the Falun IF’s senior squad in HockeyEttan, the Swedish third division. There he’d post 9-10-19 digits.

Next season, Forslund is expecting to play for Mora IK in Sweden’s top junior league.

Austin Baker (203rd) is another player from the USNTDP. The left-winger would account for 10 goals but only four assists in 25 USHL games. He’ll be staying close to Detroit as a college hockey commit to the Michigan State Spartans, the same school as 2023 Detroit second-round pick Trey Augustine.

Dubuque (USHL) defenseman Fisher Scott is an offensive-minded rearguard. The 6-1, 180-pound blueliner would account for 8-25-33 numbers in 2023-24. He’s committed to Colorado College, where he’ll be a teammate of fellow Red Wings defensive prospect Brady Cleveland.