In the lead-up to the 2019 NHL draft, Free Press sports writer Helene St James will be looking at draft fits for the Detroit Red Wings.
The Wings hold the sixth overall pick in the June 21-22 event in Vancouver, British Columbia. I wrote about the benefit of drafting Cole Caufield at the NHL combine, and in the first mock draft, the Wings selected center Dylan Cozens.
In this edition, I have the Wings selecting center Trevor Zegras, a product of the U.S. National Team Development Program based out of Plymouth. He came in at sixth on the NHL Central Scouting final draft prospect rankings.
Zegras is 6-feet, 173 pounds and shoots left. He posted 26 goals and 61 assists in 60 games with the U18 team last season. Zegras draws comparisons to Chicago’s Patrick Kane, and models his game after Arizona’s Clayton Keller (Zegras has 100 career assists in 116 games split between the U18 and U17 NTDP teams; Keller had 118 in his NTDP career).
Zegras appeals as a two-way forward with a creative streak, the kind who, like Thomas Vanek, makes plays other players don’t even think of.
Zegras isn’t considered a great skater, but he spoke at the combine of how hard he’s worked to improve in this area.
“People get caught up in creativity, but I think my edge work is really good,” Zegras said.
Zegras can play both center and wing. He’d be a nice addition to the Wings’ rebuild because of his creativity and versatility.
More on Wings:
Red Wings have chance to boost rebuild in draft. Here’s how
Dylan Larkin advice to high school athletes: Work hard, have a plan
Here are my picks for the teams ahead of the Wings.
1. New Jersey Devils
Center Jack Hughes, U.S. U18 National Team Development Program: He’s been projected to go first overall for the last year. He’s an elite combination of skating, passing and hockey sense.
2. New York Rangers
Right wing Kaapo Kakko, TPS Finland: He’s a 6-foot-2, 194-pound teenager who stood out playing against men at the 2019 World Championship, where he had six goals in 10 games as Finland won gold.
3. Chicago Blackhawks
Center Alex Turcotte, U.S. U18 NTDP: He’s high-end skater and thinker with a knack for making plays small spaces. Has great explosiveness in his stride.
4. Colorado Avalanche
Winger Cole Caufield, U.S. U18 NTDP: He’s arguably the best scorer outside the top two picks, a guy who has practiced shooting to the point it’s already muscle memory. He’s only 5-7 but he’s deceptive and knows how to get open.
5. Los Angeles Kings
Defenseman Bowen Byram, Vancouver, WHL: He’s the highest-ranked defense prospect, an offensive threat with the moxie to make plays under pressure. Logs big minutes and can run a power play.
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter.
Published at Mon, 10 Jun 2019 10:00:11 +0000