Before on this blog, I did a mock draft by team, but in that mock draft the draft order wasn’t determined yet so it throws off the picks a bit. So In this mock draft, I will be doing a mock draft with the Detroit Red Wings because they should be very active at the draft.
Related: NHL Mock Draft By Team Part 2
Detroit’s 2021 Draft Picks
102-Ethan Del Mastro
138-Ivan Bjorkly Nordstrom
The Detroit Red Wings have 11 draft picks in the first 5 rounds of the 2021 draft, and used those picks to select some prospects that may end up being
an important part of the team’s future. Detroit had two first round picks in the 2021 draft, and used them to select Kent Johnson and Sebastian Cossa. Kent Johnson is an playdriving center, that can also play on the wing if needed, and is a point scoring machine; Johnson played for the University of Michigan in the 2020-21 season, and put up 9 goals and 27 points in 26 games. Kent Johnson has the potential to be a first line center at the NHL level. Sebastian Cossa is the 2nd best goaltender prospect in this year’s draft behind Jesper Wallstedt; he had a fantastic season with the Edmonton Oil Kings, recording a 17-1-1 record with a 1.57 GAA and .941 SV% in the WHL in the 2020-21 season. Cossa is an athletic goalie with 6 foot 6 frame, and unlimited potential; he has the potential to be a starter at the NHL level and should be the number 1 goalie for the Red Wings in a few years.
The Detroit Red Wings have three 2nd round picks in the 2021 draft, and use the picks to select Oliver Kapanen, Samu Salminen, and Sean Behrens. Detroit snag a pair of Finnish players in Oliver Kapanen and Samu Salminen; both are prolific offensive players in their own right and should mesh well together. Oliver Kapanen was an Alternate for the KalPa U20 team, and scored 25 goals and 41 points in 37 games. Kapanen also appeared in 4 games at the U18 WJC but didn’t really play a major role on the team. Samu Salminen was an Alternate for the Jokerit U20 team. and scored 10 goals and 26 points in 17 games. Salminen also was the captained the Finnish
team at the U18 WJC, and scored 7 goals in 7 games in the tournament. Salminen and Kapanen compliment each other well because Kapanen is a scorer and Salminen is skilled playmaker,
so the their playstyles mesh very well together. It could take a few years for these two players to be NHL ready, but when they are, they should be impact players for the Red Wings.
Sean Behrens is the other player that is taken in the 2nd round by the Red Wings and is the first defenseman to be drafted by the Red Wings in this draft. Despite being barely 5’10, Behrens is a reliable two-way defenseman, who can log tons of minutes and play in all situations. Behrens should be a permanent fixture in the top 4 for the Red Wings if two to three years.
In the 3rd round, the Red Wings draft Jack Bar and James Malatesta. Jack Bar is 6’2/194 lbs, Right-Handed defenseman who an efficient puck mover from the back end and has potential
a two-way, puck moving defenseman at the NHL level. Early in the draft, the Red Wings drafted Sean Behrens, but he was a left defense, now the Red Wings will bolster the right-side of their defense with the selection of Jack Bar. Jack Bar will take at least three years to develop before he he is NHL ready because he is very raw, but in time he could be a top 4 caliber defenseman for the Red Wings. James Malatesta is a player who was ranked quite high at the beginning of the year, but after the 2020-21 season, his draft stock plummeted and is now viewed as a 3rd round talent. Malatesta has a great offensive toolkit, he just hasn’t put it all together year; he is a terrific playmaking with superb puckhandling and deadly accurate shot. Malatesta only scored 23 points in 32 games in the 2020-21 season, after putting up 23 goals and 45 points in 59 games in his rookie season. It should be mentioned that Malatesta did score 3 goals and 4 points in 6 games for the Quebec Ramparts in the playoffs but that won’t be enough to hide his significant drop off in production. Malatesta definitely has the talent to be a productive playmaker at the NHL level, but because he is 5’9″, he might need more time to adjust to the NHL level. One thing about Malatesta that stands out is his willingness to get engage in puck battles and throw his body around; he reminds me of Brendan Gallagher, but he is a better playmaker than Gallagher.
In the 4th round, the Red Wings draft Ethan Del Mastro and Justin Janicke. Ethan Del Mastro is a towering 6’4/205 defensemen, who plays physical and is a pain a pain to play against.
Ethan Del Mastro is the type of defenseman you want on your team, and not the defense you want to face in a best of 7 playoff series, if you are trying to build a contending team, Del Mastro is the player you must get because he is a big body, will clear bodies from the front of the net, blocks shots, and as an added bonus can jump into the offense occasionally.
Don’t expect Del Mastro to put up any offensive numbers, think of a defenseman like Scott Mayfield or Adam Pelech, just a reliable shutdown defenseman, who you can rely on to log heavy minutes and play against opposing teams’ top players. Justin Janicke wields a wide array of rush patterns and uses high-end skating ability to force defenders on their heels.
He is a tenacious forechecker and plays physical along the boards, this makes him perfect for playing on the 3rd line come playoff time because he can score, but he true value is in forechecking abilities and puck pursuit. With the additions of Del Mastro and Janicke, the Red Wings get two players who will be critical for playoff success, because they play and physical brand of hockey which wears out opponents.
In the 5th round, Detroit drafts Joe Vrbetic and Ivan Bjorkly Nordstrom. Joe Vrbetic is another 6’6″ goalie that could see playing time sometime down the road. Vrbetic didn’t had a terrible season in the 2019-20 season with the North Bay Battalion, mostly due to the fact it was a bad team and the OHL didn’t have a 2020-21 season, so Vrbetic didn’t get a chance to improve his draft stock. The reason why the Red Wings would want to draft Vrbetic is because teams that have success in the playoffs now use tandems, so the Red Wings should pass up the opportunity to get a 6’6″ goalie, since those don’t grow on trees. Ivan Bjorkly Nordstrom is a hulking 6’7/216 power forward, who is really under the radar. He is a good skater for a player his size and really tough to knock off the puck due to his massive frame and strength. Bjorkly Nordstrom is a very raw player who has potential to be a very good power forward in the league if all the pieces come together, but even if they don’t because of his size, the Red Wings could still use him as a 4th liner that can throw his weight around and create energy. Both Vrbetic and Bjorkly Nordstrom are very raw but they are massive players so for that reason,
it is easier to overlook some things because you can’t teach 6’6/6’7.
In the 2021 NHL Draft, the Detroit Red Wings used their 11 picks to draft 2 Centers, 2 Left Wings, 2 Right Wingers, 3 Defenseman, and 2 goalies. With this draft strategy the Red Wings basically restocked every position in their farm system, and it ensured that the Red Wings will be very good in a few years.
Related: Seattle Kraken Mock Draft