Detroit Red Wings 2021 NHL Draft Preview: Part IV - The 22nd Pick
July 9, 2021
Welcome to the fourth and final entry in Red Wings Pipeline’s weekly series previewing the 2021 NHL Draft. Today, we finally move on from the 6th overall pick. Part IV will offer some insights on 11 players who could be taken with the Red Wings’ second selection of the first round — the 22nd overall pick.
Check out the rest of the series here:
After the Red Wings make the 6th overall pick of the 2021 NHL Draft, there won’t be much time to sit and reflect. Eyes will be glued to the big board, as just 16 picks later, Detroit will be back on the clock.
When the Wings completed the trade deadline blockbuster that sent Anthony Mantha to the nation’s capital, an additional 2021 first rounder came back Steve Yzerman’s way. Washington’s subsequent performance in this year’s playoffs — along with the failure of three division winners to advance to the “Stanley Cup Semifinals” — locked the pick in at 22nd overall.
Note: Normally, this would’ve been the 23rd overall pick, but the Arizona Coyotes forfeited their first-rounder (11th overall) as punishment for violating the NHL Combine Testing policy in 2019-20.
In this year’s draft, once you get past the top 12 or so, things really start to open up. Because of this, the possibilities at pick 22 are endless. It’s very difficult to narrow the field.
Additionally, due to the nature of the 2021 draft, the Red Wings will all but surely have an opportunity to grab one of the top 15-20 players on their board with the 22nd selection.
But what will Detroit be looking for with their second first-rounder?
A reliable defenseman? A center? The most purely skilled player available?
Will they swing for the fences on raw talent or value the relative certainty of a player with a higher floor/lower ceiling?
Here are 11 prospects (5 forwards, 5 defensemen, 1 goalie) who may (or may not) be available to the Red Wings when they step up to make the 22nd overall pick:
This is not a ranking, and players have been listed alphabetically.
The Offensive Defenseman:
Corson Ceulemans | RHD | Brooks Bandits (AJHL) | 6-2 | 201 lbs
A big, skilled, right-shot defender, Ceulemans impressed at the 2021 World U18s this spring after playing just 8 games for Cale Makar’s former AJHL squad, the Brooks Bandits. Ceulemans is a toolsy, offensive-minded blueliner who possesses a strong transition game and has the potential to quarterback an NHL power play. He’s a very strong skater who has shown flashes of high-end offensive instincts.
Ceulemans has battled bouts of inconsistency, however, and has done so while spending his draft year in a Junior-A hockey league. Ceulemans will join Red Wings prospect Sam Stange at the Univ. of Wisconsin (NCAA) in 2021-22.
The Six-Six Stopper:
Sebastian Cossa | G | Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) | 6-6 | 212 lbs
While Cossa’s 2021 dominance of the WHL may be attributed to strong team defense and a weak division, it’s hard to ignore his overall performance over the past two seasons. The supremely athletic Cossa went 17-1 with an eye-popping 1.57 GAA and .941 SV% in 2020-21. Cossa is big, he’s quick, and he tracks the puck extremely well.
Most mocks project Cossa to be taken somewhere in the teens — and if the Red Wings take a certain Swedish netminder with the 6th pick Cossa would not be a realistic option — but if he’s available at 22 things could get interesting.
The Well-Rounded Rearguard:
Carson Lambos | LHD | Winnipeg Ice (WHL) | 6-1 | 201 lbs
Heading into the 2020-21 season, Lambos was in the same conversation as the big four — Owen Power, Brandt Clarke, Simon Edvinsson, and Luke Hughes. But his stock plummeted after an uninspiring 17-game stretch with JYP in Finland, including two games in Liiga. Although Lambos struggled to adapt to the pace and style of European hockey, he still looks the part of a potential top 4 defender. He’s a strong, agile skater capable of playing a reliable two-way game. The Winnipeg native lacks a standout tool but reads the ice very well. Lambos can distribute pucks in all zones and projects to be very reliable defensively as well.
If the Red Wings nab a forward with their 6th pick, they could do a lot worse than a defenseman like Lambos at 22.
The High School Standout:
Scott Morrow | RHD | Shattuck St. Mary’s (USHS-Prep) | 6-2 | 192 lbs
High school players like Morrow are almost always more difficult to get a pulse on. While Morrow absolutely torched the prep circuit this past season, many have questioned his decision to spend most of his draft year playing in a league that was well beneath him. However, Morrow boasts the type of skill that translates at all levels, and his combination of mobility, skill, elusiveness, size, puck-moving ability…*breathes*… creativity, and offensive aggressiveness makes him one of the most intriguing options in this range of the draft.
Morrow does lack polish defensively, but this could be attributed to a lack of engagement in a high school hockey league he had no business being in. A first round of Kent Johnson at 6 and Scott Morrow at 22 would be the ultimate upside play of the 2021 draft.
The Projectable Speedster:
Oskar Olausson | LW | HV71 (SHL) | 6-2 | 181 lbs
It’s not often a player with Olausson’s size is referred to as a speedster, but here we are. Despite adding a few inches over the past year, the Swedish winger hasn’t lost a step — his skating remains a defining trait. He’s explosive, confident with the puck, and has one of the more underrated shots in the draft. Not only can he rip a seeing-eye wrister through traffic mid-stride, but he can also slither his way into open ice and put himself in favorable shooting positions.
As Olausson fills out his frame and learns how to use his size to his advantage, he could become a serious offensive threat at the next level. For a Red Wings team lacking size, he would offer a different look on the wing.
The…Other High School Standout:
Jack Peart | LHD | Grand Rapids High (USHS-MN) / Fargo Force (USHL) | 5-11 | 181 lbs
An undersized blueliner, Peart’s hockey IQ is his carrying tool. Minnesota’s “Mr. Hockey” split his 2020-21 season between the USHL and Minnesota high school hockey league, capping off his draft year with an impressive showing in the USHL’s Clark Cup Playoffs. Peart does have just average speed but displays strong instincts in all three zones. He’s rarely out of position. Peart routinely calls his own number to break the puck out of the defensive zone and does so calmly and confidently.
The astute defender doesn’t have the offensive upside of, say, Scott Morrow, but could develop into a middle-pair, two-way rearguard who logs big minutes at the next level.
The First Round Wildcard:
Aatu Räty | C | Kärpät (Liiga) | 6-1 | 181 lbs
Räty’s fall from grace has been well-documented — and quite possibly over-exaggerated. Räty is still very much a Day 1 talent. While he’s not likely to become the first-line center many previously envisioned, he remains an excellent prospect. The Finn has lightning-quick hands and an absolutely tremendous wrist shot. He’s also defensively responsible and projects as a two-way center at the next level. No one can question Räty’s work ethic.
The obvious concern with Räty is his mental fortitude and ability to focus solely on the things he can control. If he’s able to prove to NHL teams that he’s focused on simply becoming the best player he can be, he should have no problem finding a suitor in the first round.
The Swedish Sniper:
Isak Rosén | LW/RW | Leksands IF (SHL) | 5-11 | 161 lbs
Rosén’s blend of speed, agility, skill, and NHL release make him an attractive option as a mid-to-late first-rounder. He has an incredibly accurate shot and has one of the best one-timers in the 2021 draft. He also has an effortless, yet explosive, stride that catches defenders off guard. Rosén is tenacious on puck retrievals and uses his speed to pressure opponents at all areas of the ice. He’s also shown flashes of play-driving ability in the offensive zone.
Rosén will need time to put on some weight and get to the tough areas more consistently down the line, but his tools could be hard to pass on.
The Diminutive Dynamo:
Logan Stankoven | RW | Kamloops Blazers (WHL) | 5-8 | 170 lbs
The Kamloops native may be small, but he packs a big punch. The 5’8, 170lb Stankoven has a well-rounded offensive skill set and is another winger who boasts one of the best releases in the draft. Stankoven has scored at every level he’s played at and has done so in a variety of ways. He’s elusive, aggressive, and not afraid to attack the middle of the ice.
Aside from Räty, Stankoven is perhaps the biggest wildcard of the first round. Could he go in the teens? Well, he probably should. Could he also be available when the Red Wings make the 38th overall pick? It’s absolutely possible. But if Stankoven is available at 22, the Red Wings will be looking long and hard at the small, skilled forward.
The Two-Way Center
Fyodor Svechkov | C | Lada Togliatti (VHL) | 6-0 | 179 lbs
While Matthew Beniers has received his fair share of accolades with respect to his 200-foot game — and rightfully so — Svechkov has been touted as the most complete center in the 2021 draft. He’s skilled, competitive, and had an impressive showing at this year’s U18s. The Russian pivot supports his defense in his own zone, has got a very good stick, and is able to quickly and effectively turn around play and lead transitions. He’s also strong on the puck and can make plays in the offensive zone.
When all is said and done, Svechkov may be one of the only true centers to emerge from the first round of the 2021 Draft, and that has value.
The Cerebral Czech
Stanislav Svozil | LHD | HC Kometo Brno (Czech) | 6-0 | 172 lbs
The 2019-20 Czech Extraliga Rookie of the Year didn’t have the most impressive draft season, but it’s difficult to ignore the reliable, projectable toolkit he could bring to an NHL lineup. Svozil has excellent vision, he’s a strong skater, and he’s reliable in his own zone.
There’s nothing particularly dynamic about his game, but Svozil is a steady presence on the back end. He’s shown flashes of very good playmaking ability in the offensive zone — and perhaps he can learn to activate more frequently moving forward — but if the Red Wings take Svozil with the 22nd pick, it’s likely because they strongly believe in his ability to become a reliable, puck-moving defender in the NHL.
Uncertainty in the NHL Draft is exciting — especially for a rebuilding team like the Red Wings — and owning multiple first-round picks takes things to an entirely new level. Having two chances to hit on an impact player can truly expedite the turnaround time on a rebuild.
No, the Wings don’t own two top ten picks in an incredibly strong draft. But year after year, we see high-end NHL talent slip into the late teens or early twenties of the first round (David Pastrnak, Shea Theodore, Robert Thomas, and Brock Boeser immediately come to mind).
Needless to say, there’s a small chance that the 22nd overall pick outperforms the 6th overall pick at the next level (that chance may be even greater in 2021).
But in the end, the hope is that Detroit emerges from Day 1 of the 2021 NHL Draft with two future core pieces. Whether the Red Wings stock up on more undersized wingers or aim to build their future blueline in one fell swoop, the Wings will be aiming to infuse more talent into an already exceptional pipeline.
And we haven’t even touched on the three second-rounders to follow.
So get excited, Hockeytown. It’s been a long (shortened) season, but we’re nearly there. Just two weeks to go.
Featured Image of Logan Stankoven: Doug Sage