ESPN NHL insider Grant Sonier, who most recently served as a scout for the Atlanta Thrashers prior to their move to Winnipeg, hosted a Twitter chat Wednesday to preview this weekend’s NHL Draft.
The Detroit Red Wings traded away their first-round pick in the 2012 draft to acquire Kyle Quincey last season, so the Wings won’t make their first selections until Saturday during Round 2 (barring another trade).
Who might catch Detroit’s eye at that spot? Sonier offered a couple of options:
The first is goaltender Collin Olson, who played for the United States’ U-18 team last year — where he split time in net, by the way, with Jared Rutledge, a Michigan commit. Olson is set to become Rutledge’s college rival, as he’s slated to join Ohio State in the fall.
Olson appeared in 39 games for the U.S. team in 2011-12, posting 19 wins, a 2.44 goals-against average and .902 save percentage.
Could the Wings get him lower than No. 49 overall? Based on those rankings, it seems possible. Detroit could use another goalie prospect to add to its organizational depth chart, though, especially considering the disappointing development of Thomas McCollum. The best option below Jimmy Howard and Ty Conklin may be Petr Mrazek, who had a big 2011-12 season and could wind up as the starting netminder in Grand Rapids next season, if Joey MacDonald stays with the big club.
Sonier also mentioned right wing Brian Hart, a Harvard commit, as an option for Detroit in Round 2. Hart is the No. 16 college prospect at CollegeHockeyProspective.com and the NHL's Central Scouting service listed him at No. 54 among North American skaters.
Hart played his high school hockey at Phillips-Exeter in New Hampshire, where the 6-foot-2, 203-pound prospect notched 65 points last season.
Here's what The Hockey News had to say about Hart:
"He’s got the size, his skating’s pretty good and when he gets a head of steam he’s tough to stop. Heavy shot, too."
As everyone knows by now, the Red Wings tend to do some of their best work late in the draft. But without a first-round pick, Detroit would love to find a solid prospect in Round 2. Olsen and Hart are names to remember.