ESPN's Gare Joyce and Grant Sonier have handed out their 2011 NHL Draft grades. The Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche ended up getting the top grades, as both teams received an A. The tier of teams with an A- grade includes three clubs: the Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild and Detroit Red Wings.â†µ
Here is what they had to say about the Red Wings' 2011 draft class:â†µ
Whoever the Red Wings wanted at No. 24 was gone by the time they dealt their pick away. I'd think Tyler Biggs is a reasonable guess on who they were targeting. The trade down still allowed them to draft a first-round talent (Tomas Jurco, the player I had them pegged to take at 24) and two serviceable junior defensemen, Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproule.â†µ
Sonier's prime picks: Skill plays in the minds of the Red Wings and they got a gem in Jurco. Ouellet and Sproule have offensive upside as defensemen and fifth-round selection Philippe Hudon hits as hard as any player selected in this draft.â†µ
When it comes to the NHL Draft, not too many general managers have had as much success as Ken Holland, so it's probably not a bad idea to give the Red Wings one of the top grades for this year's picks. If the past has taught us anything, it's that at least one or two of the guys picked this past weekend will become big-time contributors for the Red Wings in the next five or so years.