What’s The Grind Line? Apart from the once-famous line of Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, and either Joe Kocur or Darren McCarty, The Grind Line is also The Hockey Writers’ weekly column about the Detroit Red Wings. This week, Devin Little, Ian McNaughton and Josh Bell are the muckers who make up THW’s forechecking unit and sound off on Red Wings topics.
By now, you’ve (hopefully) read all of our articles covering the players available for the Detroit Red Wings with the fourth pick of the 2020 draft. But for the team’s draft to be deemed a success, they’re going to need to hit on more than just their first-rounder. Luckily for them, they happen to own the first selection of the second round – the 32nd overall pick.
There are going to be plenty of options available to them with that pick – some of which have bonafide first-round talent. Will they opt for a forward in what is considered a forward-heavy draft class, or will they look to add depth to their defensive pipeline? Honestly, there’s no wrong choice here.
But everybody has their preferences, including us here at TGL. Due to the unpredictable nature of who will be available at No. 32, each contributor is going to offer their preferred player with the pick, as well as a backup option. Let’s see how varied our choices are:
Option A: (C) Jean-Luc Foudy – Windsor Spitfires, OHL
Option B: (LW) Carter Savoie – Sherwood Park Crusaders, AJHL
There are so many options for the Red Wings to go with at 32nd overall and with the NHL Draft being such a crapshoot, there’s a possibility that the players I’ve selected are gone by this point. The goal of drafting players is to take the best player available but for a team like Detroit, having a plethora of picks (10 in total) allows them to take a flier on a prospect that they really like or have high hopes for. In this case, I’ve gone with Windsor Spitfires forward Jean-Luc Foudy and Sherwood Park Crusaders forward Carter Savoie as my two choices.
You might be familiar with the Foudy name as older brother Liam is a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets. While Jean-Luc is trying to carve his own name in the NHL, he mentioned that if there’s one attribute he shares with his brother, it’s speed. In fact, he finished first in the on-ice testing at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game this past season, and in a league that is thriving more on speed, Foudy is the ideal prospect to select. At 5-foot-11, 177 pounds, some teams might be turned off by his size, but I would be more than pleased to take him 32nd overall.
Carter Savoie is an intriguing prospect from Sherwood Park in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). In 54 games with Sherwood Park this season, Savoie put up 99 points, including 53 goals before the season’s cancellation. Those numbers are too good not to draft him, even if they are Junior A stats. Should the Crusaders’ elite goal-scorer be around for the Red Wings, he would be a solid pickup.
With three second-round picks, if the Red Wings are fortunate enough to draft both Foudy and Savoie, it will be a passing mark and then some for general manager Steve Yzerman. With Foudy’s speed and Savoie’s goal-scoring, it’s hard not to be intrigued by either prospect.
Option A: (D) Emil Andrae – HV71 J20, SuperElit
Option B: (F) Lukas Reichel – Eisbaren Berlin, DEL
The Red Wings aren’t in a position to draft for positional need because they need help at all positions. That being said, I expect the club to come away with a forward with the fourth overall selection. With the 32nd pick, it’s all about finding the best player available.
In my opinion, both players I’ve listed are first-round talents. Emil Andrae is everything that people hoped that Joe Hicketts would be, and more. Despite his small stature, Andrae displays skill and tenacity whenever he’s on the ice.
As a two-way defenseman, I see Andrae as a solid anchor on a second defensive-pairing. As a European skater, the Red Wings also have a bit more control over his development. I could see him spending another year in Sweden before coming over to play in the AHL (once the AHL resumes play.)
As for Reichel, there’s a part of me that likes the idea of picking him just to add another German to the prospect pool after the Red Wings selected defender Moritz Seider last year. Just like Andrae and Seider, the Red Wings would have some control over where Reichel develops his game – in this case, I think he, too, should spend another year over in Germany before crossing the pond.
In Reichel, the Red Wings would add a forward who you can plug in all over the lineup because of his solid work ethic, two-way game and his ability to make plays. To me, he projects as a middle-six forward that could develop into an all-situations guy – a real Swiss… er… I mean, German Army Knife.
Option A: Emil Andrae (D) – HV71 J20, SuperElit
Option B: Kasper Simontaival (LW) – Tappara U20, Jr. A SM-liiga
You have to expect that the Red Wings are going with a forward with the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Whether that’s Lucas Raymond, Cole Perfetti, or Marco Rossi, Detroit is going to get some serious talent right off the bat. But in for the 32nd selection, the first pick of Day 2, it could get a little more interesting.
There could be a big-time name like Jan Mysak, Noel Gunler, or a player that they bet on like Zion Nybeck who could have first-round skill but lacks size and skating right now. A target for the Red Wings should very much be Swedish defender Emil Andrae. While my personal rankings have him at No. 22, he is a player that I think could slide just out of the first round – right into Detroit’s lap.
Andrae could fit the mold of the fourth forward on the ice that we’re seeing take over the NHL. The Quinn Hughes, Cale Makar, and Miro Heiskanen’s are being given more and more freedom to do what they do best: skate and contribute offensively. That style of play fits Andrae perfectly. While he’s not at the level of those three mentioned, he could develop into a very similar defender. I think he has the potential to be a top-line defender in the future. Pair him with Moritz Seider in the future? Yes, please.
As a second option, let’s look at another forward. Kasper Simontaivlal, a player that does not get nearly enough recognition for the skill he brings, finished at No. 27 in my final rankings, but many have him throughout the second round. I think he could be a top-six player in the NHL, but his development has been impacted by some injuries.
His creativity, hockey sense, and elite playmaking ability make him a dominant threat every time he steps onto the ice. He reads the gaps extremely well and knows when to take advantage of that or hang back and wait for a better opportunity. He led all U18 players in the league this season with a 1.19 point-per-game pace. No one else was over a point-per-game in that age group. One of the things I love about him is his compete – he just fights for the puck in the offensive zone.
Best Player Available
In some ways, the 32nd pick is going to be more important than the fourth pick. The odds are that the Red Wings are going to get something great in the first round, but there is no such guarantee on the second day of the draft. Hitting on the first pick of the second round is imperative to a successful 2020 draft.
Related: Grading Ken Holland’s Rebuild Moves
Clearly, Yzerman and the gang are going to have quite a few options available to them. However, a team like the Red Wings needs difference-makers, and they come in all shapes and sizes. With any luck, the Wings could still find one at the top of the second round.
Are there any other players not mentioned here that you would like to see the Red Wings snag in the second round? Leave a comment down below!