For the first time in Kevin Smith's tenure as GM of the Red Wings, the team was without a first round pick, having swapped it (along with a 4th round pick) for two firsts at the draft a year ago.
"We had a great offer on the table last year, as we felt sure we were a playoff team while they were banking on us being a lottery team. Turns out we were right, with both Sammy (Samuel Savoie) and Snuggy (Jimmy Snuggerud) looking like great prospects"
As a result, Detroit fans had to wait until the middle of the second round for Smith to make his first pick, grabbing Jaden Lipinski 49th overall, dropping two spots in order to add a third round pick.
"Jaden's a big strong kid with great positional sense, we definitely think he'll have a place in our bottom six a few years from now, though he also needs to work on some things."
The main knock on Lipinski is a lack of offence, particularly weak passing, while his consistency could be better.
In the third, Smith rolled the dice and chose Roman Kantserov, a diminutive winger who has shown flashes of potential, but is a bit of a risk. If he does fully develop, he'll still be in tough to make the NHL, but his shot may be enough to get him there.
Smith also pulled off a major trade from the draft floor, adding a solid two-way centre in Drew Stafford and swapping offensive dynamos with Edmonton, as Jordan Eberle makes the move to Motown with Yakupov heading west.
"Yak's a great kid, but we felt that we were lacking a true sniper, while Stafford's addition will allow Ekky (William Eklund) to spend more time on the wing"
Along with Yakupov, the Wings were forced to part with prospects Thomas Bordealeau and Oliver Moberg, as well as goalie Colten Ellis. The teams also exchanged late picks, which left Smith with a pair of 5th round picks, used to select defencemen ??tienne Morin and Nolan Collins.
Morin, like Kantserov, is a bit on the small side, with flashes of potential, while Collins, who was actually passed over last year, is a physical defenceman that could provide depth, but needs to be more consistent.