Detroit Red Wings’ Jeff Blashill sees benefit of delaying NHL draft
The NHL Entry Draft is scheduled for July 23-24, but looks uncertain.
With the majority of junior hockey leagues around the world either paused or not playing at all, there is significant pressure from general managers and scouting directors to postpone the draft a year.
And you see the point of talent assessors. How can you analyze and rate talent when the players aren’t even playing?
Coach Jeff Blashill can understand the need to push the draft back.
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“I can certainly see the mindset,” said Blashill. “There were quite a few players who didn’t play and how do you judge people who didn’t play? It doesn’t seem right, I guess I don’t want to use it fairly, but right.
“The design with the 18 year old year of birth is difficult anyway. It should probably really be a later draft, and it would surely allow teams to do better. “
If the draft were pushed back a year, then there are questions how the NHL would hold two back-to-back drafts in a short amount of time by 2022.
A lottery would certainly determine the order of selection by the teams. But no one is sure whether the value of these picks in terms of trades would be greater or less than.
Would the NHL hold the drafts on consecutive days or have days between them and not overwhelm the fans?
Given the way this regular season could go, the Wings are likely to have one of the top picks in the draft again. Before the start of this season, General Manager Steve Yzerman suggested that the draft be postponed due to a lack of proper prospect assessment.
Another reason to delay it and get more opportunities to watch the prospect is because it’s so rare in the NHL that a draft pick just ends up on an NHL roster a few months later.
As of the 2020 draft, only Alexis Lafreniere (NY Rangers) and Tim Stuetzle (Ottawa) play as number 1 in the NHL.
Blashill believes the extra time to play, mature, and develop would benefit junior-age players.
“Most of the time, 99% of the time, it’s probably not best for them,” said Blashill of a young player jumping into the NHL immediately. “Every now and then you get a man who has to play, like a (Connor) McDavid or (Auston) Matthews, who is just so good at this level and has to go in and play.
“But most of the picks, if you look at the first few years, are probably better served elsewhere. If this is delayed a little, it will be positive for the development of these people. “
defender Christian Djoos was a waiver in the middle of training camp, and his transition to the roster was delayed due to quarantine measures after his arrival from Anaheim.
But since joining the line-up, Djoos has given insight into his strengths as an attacking defender.
“Christian did a solid job. He came as advertised, ”said Blashill. “He’s a really good puck mover and has really good posture with the puck. It’s a bit different from what we have at the back end in many ways. We have a lot of people who are really good defenders and who are good at handling the puck. He’s a really good passerby and he’s poised and he’s a power play guy.
“He’s someone who can help make our power play better, even though we don’t have to show it or prove it yet, so we’ll watch.
“Overall, I liked him.”
Djoos, 26, is in his fourth NHL season and didn’t expect to be picked up by Anaheim. But the fact that the wings claimed him – his father From Djoos also played briefly with the wings – was a pleasant surprise.
“We had a lot of defenders on one-way streets (contracts) in the camp (in Anaheim),” said Djoos. “I was ready to play for Anaheim and I had no idea it (waivers) was coming. Then you will receive waivers and you have 24 hours to see what happens.
“I was just glad the Red Wings claimed me and now I’m here and it’s a good opportunity.”
Djoos is confident that the Wings power play, which is 30th out of 31 teams on Thursday, will begin to thrive.
“We looked good last game and we probably should have had one (goal) there,” said Djoos. “All teams have good penalties, goals are difficult to score these days, (but) we look good.”
Blashill said goalkeeper Jonathan Bernier (Upper body) might be available to at least secure Thomas Greiss on Saturday in Nashville.
… Blashill is of the opinion that the wings must be more active in the power game on the net.
“We have to work better to create chaos on the net and to have numbers on the net,” said Blashill. “That’s how you score in the power game. You don’t want to change and you don’t have chemistry.”
… Blashill couldn’t definitely say that Tyler Bertuzzi (Upper body) will be on the ice to at least practice when the Wings return home next week. Bertuzzi will have missed this entire six game road trip.
… Luke Glendening (Upper body) missed his second game in a row on Thursday.