GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Grand Rapids Griffins general manager Bob McNamara and the entire Detroit Red Wings hockey operations staff are in Ottawa this weekend for the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Coverage begins tonight at 7 p.m. (VERSUS, TSN, NHL Radio) with the first round and continues through the day on Saturday (10 a.m. on NHL Network, NHL.com).
Befitting their status as Stanley Cup Champions, the Red Wings are set to pick 30th and last in each of the seven rounds. The lone exception is the end of round two, as Los Angeles acquired Detroit's selection through the Brad Stuart trade on Feb. 26.
The Red Wings' brass is renowned for its scouting skills, having made lemonade out of lemons on countless occasions. Late-round gems such as Tomas Holmstrom (#257 overall in 1994), Henrik Zetterberg (#210 in 1999) and Pavel Datsyuk (#171 in 1998) have formed the nucleus largely responsible for the franchise's on-ice success over the last decade.
Many of Detroit's picks will make their professional debuts with the Griffins, who will continue to serve as the Red Wings' primary affiliate through at least the 2011-12 season. In fact, Grand Rapids' 2007-08 roster featured Red Wings selections from each of the last seven drafts: 2007 (Zack Torquato), 2006 (Cory Emmerton), 2005 (Jakub Kindl, Mattias Ritola, Darren Helm, Johan Ryno), 2004 (Evan McGrath), 2003 (Jimmy Howard, Kyle Quincey, Ryan Oulahen), 2002 (Derek Meech, Jonathan Ericsson) and 2001 (Igor Grigorenko).
Over their 12 seasons, the Griffins have had 177 players on their roster who were chosen in the entry draft. Relative to each of Detroit's positions in the upcoming draft are a number of previous draftees who went on to play for the Griffins, providing an indication of the level of talent that will be available to the Red Wings in each round.
First Round - 30th Overall
Kevyn Adams - 25th by Boston in 1993
Radim Bicanek - 27th by Ottawa in 1993
Niklas Kronwall - 29th by Detroit in 2000
Tyler Moss - 29th by Tampa Bay in 1993
Donald MacLean - 33rd by Los Angeles in 1995
Jason Doig - 34th by Winnipeg in 1995
Third Round - 91st Overall
Aris Brimanis - 86th by Philadelphia in 1991
Marc Lamothe - 92nd by Montreal in 1992
Chris Kelly - 94th by Ottawa in 1999
Valtteri Filppula - 95th by Detroit in 2002
Fourth Round - 121st Overall
Drew MacIntyre - 121st by Detroit in 2001
John Emmons - 122nd by Calgary in 1993
Danton Cole - 123rd by Winnipeg in 1985
Fifth Round - 151st Overall
Ed Patterson - 148th by Pittsburgh in 1991
Don McSween - 154th by Buffalo in 1983
Patrick Lalime - 156th by Pittsburgh in 1993
Sixth Round - 181st Overall
Michel Picard - 178th by Hartford in 1989
Zack Torquato - 178th by Detroit in 2007
Kent McDonell - 181st by Detroit in 1999
Dan Smith - 181st by Colorado in 1995
Kelly Miller - 183rd by NY Rangers in 1982
Seventh Round - 211th Overall
David Hymovitz - 209th by Chicago in 1992
Alexandre Giroux - 213th by Ottawa in 1999
Brad Norton - 215th by Edmonton in 1993
Ivan Ciernik - 216th by Ottawa in 1996
Other players whose positions are not even included in this era's shorter, seven-round draft include Pavol Demitra (227th by Ottawa in 1993), Derek Meech (229th by Detroit in 2002), Karel Rachunek (229th by Ottawa in 1997), Darryl Bootland (252nd by Colorado in 2000) and Jonathan Ericsson (291st by Detroit in 2002).
For complete coverage of the 2008 NHL Draft, click here.