Red Wings, Holland are open to trading No. 6 pick
Wings GM Ken Holland: “Everybody is kicking tires as to what might be out there.”
The Red Wings have the No. 6 pick in this year’s NHL Draft, but general manager Ken Holland says he’s willing to trade that pick for the right price.
“I’m open to possibly move,” Holland told The Athletic on Wednesday.
Holland is attending the NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo, at which 104 draft eligible prospects are being assessed by the 31 NHL teams.
Detroit also has the Las Vegas Golden Knights’ first-round pick – No. 31 if Vegas wins the Stanley Cup and No. 30 if it loses in the Cup Final to the Washington Capitals. It also has two second-round picks (No. 33 and No. 36) and three third-round choices among its 11 picks.
The Draft is June 22-23 in Dallas.
“I’ve started to talk to some teams about a lot,” Holland said. “As you work your way toward Dallas at the draft, draft movement possibilities, I think at this stage in the game, everybody is kicking tires as to what might be out there.”
Detroit’s biggest need is a defenseman, preferably big, who can be responsible defensively, move the puck and provide offense.
Among the available defenseman most often mentioned in connection with the Red Wings by draft prognosticators are Evan Bouchard of the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights, Noah Dobson of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Quinn Hughes of the University of Michigan.
Holland said the Red Wings are also interested in a few players who would likely be available in the late first-round or early second-round of the draft.
“If somebody on your list starts to slide, then you start to work the phone,” Holland said. “We like a lot of players in that range, in that 30-35 range. We think there’s some pretty good players. Do you package two of those picks and try to move up? Possibly, if somebody high on our lists starts to slide and starts to fall.”
Griffins looking for a new coach?
Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson is close to joining the Dallas Stars as an assistant coach, according to a tweet by The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro.
The Griffins are Detroit’s American Hockey League affiliate. Nelson has been their coach for three seasons. Dallas recently hired Jim Montgomery as its new coach. The Stars’ general manager is former Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill.