In terms of Sunday's draft and the Wings' picks, it appears that the Wings are quite happy with the 18th pick in the 1st round (they will pick 48th and then 79th, 109th, 139th, 169th and 199th), and, somewhat surprisingly, Wings director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell suggested that the Wings will probably draft a forward as opposed to Ye Olde Beste Player Available while speaking with the Windsor Star's Bob Duff...
“We’d really like to get a forward, unless there’s a defenceman that’s too good to pass up,” Wings head scout Joe McDonnell said of the team’s likely plan when they make their first-round pick at No. 18 overall in Sunday’s draft at New Jersey’s Prudential Center. “When it comes to our pick, if we feel there’s two players that are even we’ll lean toward the forward. We have a lot of good, young defencemen – (Ryan) Sproul, (Xavier) Ouellett, (Brian) Lashoff, (Mattias) Backman. We think we have a number of good ones. If we can add a little size up front, it would be beneficial.”
Getting bigger up front is an ongoing process for the Wings and it will continue on draft day.
“It’s just the way the game has evolved,” McDonnell said. “It’s a big man’s game. I’m not saying there’s no room for smaller guys, but if you can get a big, skilled guy, you go that route. We’ll still take small guys if we have to, but we’re looking to get bigger. We have bigger guys coming up in (forwards Tomas) Jurco and (Riley) Sheahan.”
The Wings will go earlier on draft day than they have in many years. It’s the quickest they will be called to the podium in the first round since 1991, when they also selected a big forward, Martin Lapointe.
“We’re excited,” McDonnell said. “At 18, we know we’ll get someone we really like. The draft in general is strong, in the first round and even into the second round. It’s deep at the top end of the draft and then it peters out. There will be guys we like even in the seventh round, but the high-end part of the draft is good. At 18, we’ll get a quality player.”
This is a good thing!