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The Detroit News’ top 20 NHL prospects

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Detroit — The Red Wings aren’t very familiar with this draft lottery stuff.

Who knows what magic needs to be created to land that first pick overall?

But whatever they conjure up to get lucky at the NHL Draft Lottery on Apirl 28, the Red Wings need to create, because rarely has there ever been a more important draft for the organization.

With a staggering 11 selections in the NHL Entry Draft on June 22-23 in Dallas — no team has more — the Red Wings have an opportunity to quicken a rebuild that has kept the organization out of the playoffs the last two seasons.

Seven of those picks come in the first three rounds — two apiece in the first and second rounds, and three in the third round — the result of general manager Ken Holland aggressively selling assets the past two trade deadlines for picks.

“I’m trying to speed the process up,” Holland said. “Now we’ve got to turn those picks into players.”

John Niyo, Ted Kulfan and Gregg Krupa look at the Red Wings and what the team should do in the offseason to turn things around.
Detroit News

The ultimate prize would be landing that first pick overall — the Wings have an 8.5 percent of doing so — and selecting defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, considered to be the surefire star player in this draft.

A player like Dahlin, who has been compared favorably to the likes of defensemen Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay) or Erik Karlsson (Ottawa), would speed the Red Wings’ rebuild considerably.

But even if they aren’t lucky enough to select Dahlin, there’s plenty of young talent to go around this year.

In the opinion of some scouts, the first 10 or so players could turn out to be outstanding additions of any team.

Go further down the board, and there remain other intriguing talents, which make this one of the deeper drafts in recent memory.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

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