It’s no secret that the Detroit Red Wings defence is in need of an upgrade. Detroit sees its best opportunity to upgrade its blueline through the sixth pick in the upcoming draft.
The Red Wings defence has been one of their weak spots in recent seasons. General manager Ken Holland knows that unrestricted free agent Mike Green will likely be gone at the start of free agency, so a top defender will be needed.
Draft Needs: Detroit Red Wings Defence
However, there are some very talented defenders that will still be available. Mock drafts have indicated Detroit could take multiple names at No. 6.
Let’s look at some of the names being tossed around to help the Detroit Red Wings defence.
Quinn Hughes, University of Michigan, NCAA
The University of Michigan product is a skilled puck-mover and a great skater. Hughes also possesses a powerful shot despite his 5-foot-9-inch frame. He does have questions about his defensive-zone play but is a prototypical offensive-defenceman.
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill also got a look at Hughes during the 2018 IIHF World Championships. He got an up-close view of Hughes in practice against some of the toughest competition in the world. Blashill may be able to recommend Holland take the speedy defender.
Evan Bouchard, London, OHL
The defender is sought-after thanks to him being a righthanded-shot with good size. Bouchard was great at both ends of the ice this season for the Knights. He also did a great job as a team leader on a young London squad.
Bouchard finished tied for seventh in the OHL with 87 points (25 goals, 62 assists). He’s the first defenseman to finish in the top 10 in points since Ryan Ellis did with the Windsor Spitfires in 2010-11. That kind of production would be welcome in Hockeytown.
Noah Dobson, Acadie-Bathurst, QMJHL
The Memorial Cup-winning blueliner saw his stock rise throughout the season. Dobson is a big body at 6-foot-3-inches and 180 pounds and possesses solid vision. He’s also very intelligent and makes good decisions with the puck.
Our own mock draft had Detroit picking Dobson after the Ottawa Senators and Arizona Coyotes took defencemen with the previous two picks. Detroit would be very happy if they landed such a hard-shooting defender.
Adam Boqvist, D, Brynas Jr. Swedish Junior
Perhaps it’ll take another Swedish defenseman to be the cornerstone for the Wings’ defence. Boqvist is another righthanded shot who is slightly undersized at 5-foot-11-inches. His hockey intelligence and awareness are very good.
Boqvist plays a similar finesse-type game as Hughes, but he’s willing to throw his body around if needed. He’ll likely need another year in Sweden to refine his game, but he does have loads of potential.
Other publications have had Detroit pick a forward. The Sporting News had the Wings take Brady Tkachuk from Boston University while N.J.com had Isac Lundestrom of the Swedish Hockey League going to Detroit. Bleacher Report slated that Oliver Wahlstrom would be the Wings’ pick at six.
However, it’s likely that Holland is going to try and bolster the blueline.
Which Pick Improves the Detroit Red Wings Defence
All the defensive selections would be good choices, but Detroit will probably select either Dobson or Hughes with their pick. Bouchard would be a good choice if both Dobson or Hughes are gone before the sixth pick. It depends on who’s available on the draft board.
Main Photo: PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 23: Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland (L) and Detroit Red Wings Senior Vice President Jim Devellano speak during day two of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 23, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)