So the draft happened this weekend. Like the NHL Awards, I've never felt compelled to watch the draft. In all honesty, I think I'd rather watch paint dry. Part of it is due to the fact that I don't particularly care about any of the players involved (yet). Another factor is that, since so many of them will barely accomplish anything career-wise, it hardly seems worth it to make time in my busy schedule to study prospects. I prefer to leave that to wiser minds. Truth be told, the Wings front office has never given me a reason to doubt their judgment (except maybe that time they traded for Todd Bertuzzi and I had repeated hissy fits). If Ken Holland, Jimmy Devellano, Steve Yzerman, Hakan Andersson, Jim Nill, et al announced that they wanted to draft my grandma, well, let's just say I'd be the first one on the bandwagon.
After the fact, I took a look at the Wings' picks (mostly just so I can say I remember when they were drafted should they end up on the NHL roster). Obviously, none of them are NHL-ready at the moment, but that's the way things go when you're successful. And, let's face it, if any team is likely to have mined a late-round gem, it's the Wings. The first player that stood out to me was Mitchell Callahan, an enforcer/fighter. It's not that they couldn't use a guy like him around, I just think it's going to be hard for him to make his way into the lineup what with all of the skill guys he'd have to beat out. I did like the one description that I read about him that said that he's the kind of guy who'd go to hell and back for his teammates. I like that quality in a player, and that kind of mentality seems like it would fit in well in the organization. If he does make it to the big show, there's no doubt that he'll be a crowd favorite. That's just how we roll in Detroit.
The other thing that stood out to me was Landon Ferraro's plus/minus stat. While it's not the be-all end-all of statistics, it just seemed un-Red Wing-like. On the other hand, if there's one thing the Wings organization has shown over the years, it's the ability to take an offensively skilled guy and get him to buy into a defense-first mentality.
So anyway, here's hoping that Kenny Holland and the boys worked their magic again this weekend and we'll be seeing a few of these guys in the Winged Wheel a few years down the road. Also, isn't it cute how I've spent the last three paragraphs pretending to know what I'm talking about?
One last note on the draft: The Islanders had a viewing party at the Nassau Coliseum that drew over 10,000 fans. Maybe I've just been living under a rock, but I don't ever remember hearing about something like that before. Did Pittsburgh fans do this when they drafted Crosby? Anyway, the crowd went absolutely nuts when Tavares' name was called. Seriously, it looked like they'd just won the Cup or something. Watch the video. People are hugging and screaming and jumping up and down. In all my years of fandom, I can't ever remember being that excited about a draft pick. Not when Datsyuk was drafted. Not when Zetterberg was drafted. Not ever. Don't get me wrong, I wish I had that kind of foresight, but the only reason I remember reading about Z's selection was because his last name was fun to say and I'm easily amused. Maybe it's just because I'm young enough that I can't remember anything but Red Wing domination and the low and obscure draft picks that that entails. From my limited frame of reference, they've never been in need of a "franchise savior" or hockey Jesus.