Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wings make a free agent signing, but it’s not a blue liner … journeyman Kevin Porter

DETROIT >> According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the have made a minor signing, inking center Kevin Porter to a two-way deal.

He’ll add depth in Grand Rapids.

Porter split time last season with the Buffalo Sabres and Rochester of the American Hockey League.

Porter, who played four seasons at the University of Michigan, has also played parts of seasons with Colorado and Phoenix.

In 206 games he has 29 goals and 26 assists.

He won the Hobey Baker Award in 2008, awarded to the top collegiate player in the NCAA.

Wings lose out on Boyle; out on Niskanen; trade could be next option, but prices are steep

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings had high hopes of landing at least one and quite possibly two premier right-handed defensemen on the first day of free agency.

They wound up with neither.

First, Detroit lost out on Dan Boyle, who signed a two-year deal with the New York Rangers for $9 million.

The Wings’ shopping list began with Boyle, who’ll turn 38 next month, and was offering him a two-deal at around $5.5 million a season.

Matt Niskanen was next, but he informed the Wings that they were not on the list of teams he was considering to go to.

The 27-year old defenseman was looking for a lengthy deal at the maximum seven years and possibly in the upwards of $6 million a season to sign.

The Wings were fine with the length of a deal and seemed willing to meet his salary demands.

Originally they didn’t seem willing to pay him much more annually than what Niklas Kronwall ($4.75 million) is making.

Niskanen had a career high in goals (10), assists (36) and plus-minus (plus-33) last season with the Penguins.

While their two main right-handed targets on the blue line decided to go elsewhere, the second tier also got deals done with other teams.

Tom Gilbert was first, inking a two-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens at $5.6 million.

Stephane Robidas fell off the board next, getting three years with the Toronto Maple Leafs at $3 million a season.

Finally, Anton Stralman was given a five-year deal worth $22.5 million by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Wings could now turn to possibly trading for a right-handed defensemen – Buffalo’s Tyler Myers or Arizona’s Keith Yandle – but the asking price is quite steep – Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar or Tomas Jurco.

Christian Ehrhoff didn’t take long to sign a one-year deal worth $4 million with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Ehrhoff, who was bought out of the final seven years of a 10-year deal with Buffalo, had the offensive abilities they were looking for. He’s a premier skater who logs a ton of minutes who can move the puck and likes to join the rush. He can also quarterback the power play.

Detroit thought Ehrhoff was asking for a five-year deal and the Wings are only willing to give him three years at roughly $5 million a season.

Detroit had interest in Ehrhoff in 2011 when Brian Rafalski retired, but didn’t want to overpay him. There was also talk between the teams a couple of times about possibly trading Ehrhoff to the Wings, but Buffalo decided to hang onto him.

Lefty Michael Del Zotto is also out there after being bought out by Nashville.

Detroit did sign two of its own … Riley Sheahan and Petr Mrazek.

Sheahan, who was a restricted free agent, inked a two-year deal at an average salary cap hit of $950,000.

Mrazek got a one-year extension, taking his deal through the 2015-16 season, at a cap hit of $737,500.

The Wings had enough money to sign two high-end blue liners.

Detroit has just over $55 million tied up in 19 players for next season and still need to sign restricted free agents Danny DeKeyser and Tomas Tatar.

With the salary cap at $69 million for next season that leaves the Wings close to $10 million to spend on other free agents.

Defenseman Kyle Quincey hit the open market.

Daniel Cleary, who was promised a possible extension after signing a one-year deal on the first day of training camp, could also be back.

Wings lose out on Boyle, but Niskanen still out there; Ehrhoff inks one-year deal with Pens

DETROIT >> An hour and a half into the start of free agency and all the Detroit Red Wings have signed are two of their own … Riley Sheahan and Petr Mrazek.

Sheahan, who was a restricted free agent, inked a two-year deal at an average salary cap hit of $950,000.

Mrazek got a one-year extension, taking his deal through the 2015-16 season, at a cap hit of $737,500.

Detroit lost out on one of the right-handed shooting defensemen when Dan Boyle signed a two-year deal with the New York Rangers for $9 million.

The Wings’ shopping list began with Boyle, who’ll turn 38 next month, and was offering him a two-deal at around $5.5 million a season.

Matt Niskanen (Pittsburgh) remains out there and his price will continue to go up with the lack of right-handed blue liners in this free agent class.

The 27-year old defenseman was looking for a lengthy deal at the maximum seven years and possibly in the upwards of $6 million a season to sign.

The Wings are fine with the length and they may meet his salary demands when all is said and done.

Originally they didn’t seem willing to pay him much more annually than what Niklas Kronwall ($4.75 million) is making.

Niskanen had a career high in goals (10), assists (36) and plus-minus (plus-33) last season with the Penguins.

The Wings, who want their young right-handed defensemen to start the season in Grand Rapids, also could settle on Anton Stralman (New York Rangers) or Stephane Robidas (Anaheim).

Tom Gilbert (Florida) was also a possibility, but he got a two-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens at $5.6 million.

Christian Ehrhoff didn’t take long to sign a one-year deal worth $4 million with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Ehrhoff, who was bought out of the final seven years of a 10-year deal with Buffalo, had the offensive abilities they were looking for. He’s a premier skater who logs a ton of minutes who can move the puck and likes to join the rush. He can also quarterback the power play.

Detroit thought Ehrhoff was asking for a five-year deal and the Wings are only willing to give him three years at roughly $5 million a season.

Detroit had interest in Ehrhoff in 2011 when Brian Rafalski retired, but didn’t want to overpay him. There was also talk between the teams a couple of times about possibly trading Ehrhoff to the Wings, but Buffalo decided to hang onto him.

Lefty Michael Del Zotto (Nashville) was also added to the pool of unrestricted free agents on Monday.

The free agent pool for right-handed defensemen is thin and the asking price via a trade – Buffalo’s Tyler Myers or Arizona’s Keith Yandle – is quite steep (Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar or Tomas Jurco).

The Wings had enough money to sign two high-end blue liners.

Detroit has just over $55 million tied up in 19 players for next season and still need to sign restricted free agents Danny DeKeyser and Tomas Tatar.

With the salary cap at $69 million for next season that leaves the Wings close to $10 million to spend on other free agents.

Defenseman Kyle Quincey hit the open market.

Daniel Cleary, who was promised a possible extension after signing a one-year deal on the first day of training camp, could also be back.

Wings lock up one restricted free agent; Sheahan gets $1.9 million

DETROIT >> One down and two to go.

The Wings signed one of their three restricted free agents off last year’s roster, Riley Sheahan, to a two-year worth an average salary cap it of $950,000.

His last three-year deal had an average salary cap hit of $785,000.

Sheahan had nine goals and 15 assists in 42 regular season games last year.

However, like most of the youngsters he struggled in the playoffs. He had no points, was a minus-1 and struggled to win faceoffs.

Sheahan really caught the eye of Wings coach Mike Babcock at last year’s eight-team prospects tournament in Traverse City stating he was the best player throughout the event.

“He’s gotten better and better,” Babcock said last season. “He’s made plays for us and he’s allowed his linemates to play and not worry about the defensive side as much.”

“Your confidence grows when you know your coach feels comfortable with you,” Sheahan said last season.

Because of a rash of injuries at center last season, Sheahan got an opportunity to show how his game had developed and he really impressed.

He was recalled from Grand Rapids in mid-December and was sent back after playing four games. Not even three weeks later he was back with the team and was a fixture in it since Jan. 11.

Sheahan was Detroit’s first round selection (21st overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and was projected to be a second-line, two-way center.

“Great player, great shot, big body, smart guy,” Tomas Tatar said last season. “I think he’s one of the guys that’s got the whole package.”

With Grand Rapids the year before, Sheahan had 16 goals and 20 assists in 72 games.

“I think my offensive game maybe is leveled up a bit,” Sheahan said. “I think confidence is the biggest thing. Playing with such good players it’s sort of easy to get confidence because they’re always making plays and you always feel like you’re part of the play and then in the O-zone you’re cycling the puck and you’re always on it.”

Sheahan helped lead the Griffins to winning the Calder Cup two seasons ago.

Wings shorten list to Boyle, Niskanen; Ehrhoff wants too many years

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings have one need to address when teams can begin signing free agents at noon Tuesday … a top four defensemen, who’s preferably a right-handed shot.

“We’ve got a couple of specific needs,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said on the eve of when free agents can sign deals. “Free agency is always competitive. It appears to be a little deeper pool than last year, but there are lots of teams in the mix. It’ll be an interesting time.

“I anticipate things will happen fast (Tuesday),” Holland continued. “There should be lots of activity the first four or five hours.”

Detroit’s shopping list for a right-handed blue liner starts at Dan Boyle (New York Islanders), who’ll turn 38 next month, and could be had for a two-deal at around $5.5 million a season.

Boyle could however be looking for a third year on the deal which could be a sticking point or the Wings will meet his demands.

Matt Niskanen (Pittsburgh) is next on the list.

The 27-year old defenseman is looking for a lengthy deal at the maximum seven years and possibly in the upwards of $6 million a season to sign.

The Wings are fine with the length and they may meet his salary demands when all is said and done.

Originally they didn’t seem willing to pay him much more annually than what Niklas Kronwall ($4.75 million) is making.

Niskanen had a career high in goals (10), assists (36) and plus-minus (plus-33) last season with the Penguins.

“(Brendan) Smith can play left or right,” Holland said. “(Jonathan) Ericsson has played the off-side for a number of years, but ideally you’d like to have three left and three right but it doesn’t always work out that way.”

The Wings could get lucky and land both Boyle and Niskanen since they have enough room to fit them under the salary cap.

The Wings, who want their young right-handed defensemen to start the season in Grand Rapids, also could settle on Anton Stralman (New York Rangers), Stephane Robidas (Anaheim) or Tom Gilbert (Florida).

They also could stand pat if Boyle or Niskanen decide to go elsewhere.

From that point it could be a left-handed shot the Wings have to settle for.

Christian Ehrhoff, who was bought out of the final seven years of a 10-year deal with Buffalo, has the offensive abilities they’re looking for. He’s a premier skater who logs a ton of minutes who can move the puck and likes to join the rush. He can also quarterback the power play.

Ehrhoff appears to be asking for a five-year deal and the Wings are only willing to give him three years at roughly $5 million a season.

Detroit had interest in Ehrhoff in 2011 when Brian Rafalski retired, but didn’t want to overpay him. There was also talk between the teams a couple of times about possibly trading Ehrhoff to the Wings, but Buffalo decided to hang onto him.

“We’ve got seven left-hand D,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I love it but how do you get (a righty)? It’s great to have this fantasy, like Kenny Holland would tell you, there’s no tree. I’ve been all over him but there’s no tree to grab them off of, so we’ll get what we get.”

Lefty Michael Del Zotto (Nashville) was also added to the pool of unrestricted free agents on Monday.

“I just think it’s so much easier when you have a right and lefty on every pair,” Babcock said. “All you’ve got to do is look at L.A., a right and lefty on every pair. It makes it easier to get through the neutral zone. It’s easier off D-zone faceoffs to execute, you have the puck more. You can get it off the wall and shoot it in the offensive zone. To me it just makes sense.”

The free agent pool for right-handed defensemen is thin and the asking price via a trade – Buffalo’s Tyler Myers or Arizona’s Keith Yandle – is quite steep (Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar or Tomas Jurco).

“We’ll explore the forward market a little bit, but we’ve got 13 forwards and we can send Tomas Jurco to the minors if we wanted to,” Holland said. “We’ll see how Daniel Alfredsson is and where (Anthony) Mantha is in September.”

The Wings also have enough money to sign two high-end blue liners.

Detroit has $54.2 million tied up in 18 players for next season and still need to sign restricted free agents Danny DeKeyser, Tatar and Riley Sheahan.

With the salary cap at $69 million for next season that’ll leave the Wings close to $10 million to spend on other free agents.

Defenseman Kyle Quincey will hit the open market. Daniel Cleary, who was promised a possible extension after signing a one-year deal on the first day of training camp, could also be back.

Wings appear willing to meet demands to sign Boyle, Niskanen; Ehrhoff wants longer term more than what they want to offer

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings have one need to address when teams can begin signing free agents at noon Tuesday … a top four defensemen, who’s preferably a right-handed shot.

“We’ve got a couple of specific needs,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said on the eve of when free agents can sign deals. “Free agency is always competitive. It appears to be a little deeper pool than last year, but there are lots of teams in the mix. It’ll be an interesting time.

“I anticipate things will happen fast (Tuesday),” Holland continued. “There should be lots of activity the first four or five hours.”

Detroit’s shopping list for a right-handed blue liner starts at Dan Boyle (New York Islanders), who’ll turn 38 next month, and could be had for a two-deal at around $5.5 million a season.

Boyle could however be looking for a third year on the deal which could be a sticking point or the Wings will meet his demands.

Matt Niskanen (Pittsburgh) is next on the list.

The 27-year old defenseman is looking for a lengthy deal at the maximum seven years and possibly in the upwards of $6 million a season to sign.

The Wings are fine with the length and they may meet his salary demands when all is said and done.

Originally they didn’t seem willing to pay him much more annually than what Niklas Kronwall ($4.75 million) is making.

Niskanen had a career high in goals (10), assists (36) and plus-minus (plus-33) last season with the Penguins.

“(Brendan) Smith can play left or right,” Holland said. “(Jonathan) Ericsson has played the off-side for a number of years, but ideally you’d like to have three left and three right but it doesn’t always work out that way.”

The Wings could get lucky and land both Boyle and Niskanen since they have enough room to fit them under the salary cap.

The Wings, who want their young right-handed defensemen to start the season in Grand Rapids, also could settle on Anton Stralman (New York Rangers), Stephane Robidas (Anaheim) or Tom Gilbert (Florida).

They also could stand pat if Boyle or Niskanen decide to go elsewhere.

From that point it could be a left-handed shot the Wings have to settle for.

Christian Ehrhoff, who was bought out of the final seven years of a 10-year deal with Buffalo, has the offensive abilities they’re looking for. He’s a premier skater who logs a ton of minutes who can move the puck and likes to join the rush. He can also quarterback the power play.

Ehrhoff appears to be asking for a five-year deal and the Wings are only willing to give him three years at roughly $5 million a season.

Detroit had interest in Ehrhoff in 2011 when Brian Rafalski retired, but didn’t want to overpay him. There was also talk between the teams a couple of times about possibly trading Ehrhoff to the Wings, but Buffalo decided to hang onto him.

“We’ve got seven left-hand D,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I love it but how do you get (a righty)? It’s great to have this fantasy, like Kenny Holland would tell you, there’s no tree. I’ve been all over him but there’s no tree to grab them off of, so we’ll get what we get.”

Lefty Michael Del Zotto (Nashville) was also added to the pool of unrestricted free agents on Monday.

“I just think it’s so much easier when you have a right and lefty on every pair,” Babcock said. “All you’ve got to do is look at L.A., a right and lefty on every pair. It makes it easier to get through the neutral zone. It’s easier off D-zone faceoffs to execute, you have the puck more. You can get it off the wall and shoot it in the offensive zone. To me it just makes sense.”

The free agent pool for right-handed defensemen is thin and the asking price via a trade – Buffalo’s Tyler Myers or Arizona’s Keith Yandle – is quite steep (Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar or Tomas Jurco).

“We’ll explore the forward market a little bit, but we’ve got 13 forwards and we can send Tomas Jurco to the minors if we wanted to,” Holland said. “We’ll see how Daniel Alfredsson is and where (Anthony) Mantha is in September.”

The Wings also have enough money to sign two high-end blue liners.

Detroit has $54.2 million tied up in 18 players for next season and still need to sign restricted free agents Danny DeKeyser, Tatar and Riley Sheahan.

With the salary cap at $69 million for next season that’ll leave the Wings close to $10 million to spend on other free agents.

Defenseman Kyle Quincey will hit the open market. Daniel Cleary, who was promised a possible extension after signing a one-year deal on the first day of training camp, could also be back.

Wings set to sign McCollum; make offers to restricted free agents; part ways with Emmerton

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings feel goalie Tom McCollum might have finally found his game.

The team will resign McCollum, who Detroit selected with its top pick (30th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, to a one-year, two-way NHL contract.

After struggling for three straight seasons within the organization, McCollum is coming off his best season in the American Hockey League, going 24-12-4 with a 2.30 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.

“He has made strides and is developing into the prospect we hoped he would be,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “It’s a little slower than we thought, but he’s become a real solid goaltender in the (AHL). Some players bloom a little later.”

In McCollum’s lone appearance in the NHL he gave up three goals in 15 minutes before being pulled.

McCollum, 24, will again backup Petr Mrazek with the Griffins.

The other two goalies in the system are Jared Coreau and Jake Paterson.

The team also made qualifying offers to seven of its restricted free agents – Danny DeKeyser, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan, Landon Ferraro, Mitch Callahan, Adam Almquist and Andrej Nestrasil – to retain their rights.

Almquist signed a two-year deal in the KHL with Severestal Cherepovets.

The Wings didn’t make offers to Cory Emmerton, Trevor Parkes, Willie Coetzee, Gleason Fournier and Max Nicastro, thus relinquishing their rights.

Emmerton, who was the Wings’ top pick (41st overall) in 2006, played most of last season in Grand Rapids after being waived. He’s signed to play with the Sochi Leopards of the KHL next season.

Availability of Ehrhoff sweetens free agent pool; Boyle still seems likely fit

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings’ chances of landing a top-four defenseman through free agency just got better.

The very limited pool of top four unrestricted free agent defensemen got a bit bigger Sunday when the Buffalo Sabres decided to use a compliance buyout on Christian Ehrhoff, who still had seven years left on a 10-year deal with an average salary cap hit of $4 million.

That’ll make Ehrhoff, who turns 32 on July 6, an unrestricted free agent so he can sign with any team beginning at noon on July 1.

Detroit had interest in Ehrhoff in 2011 when Brian Rafalski decided to retire, leaving a huge hole on the blue line, but didn’t want to overpay him.

The teams have also had decisions a couple of times about a possibly trading Ehrhoff, but Buffalo decided to hang onto him.

Even though the Wings would like to land a right-hand defenseman, the left-handed Ehrhoff (6-2, 196) has the offensive abilities they’re looking for.

He’s a premier skater, who logs a ton of minutes, can move the puck and likes to join the rush. He can also quarterback the power play.

“We’ve got seven left-hand D,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I love it but how do you get (a righty)? It’s great to have this fantasy, like Kenny Holland would tell you, there’s no tree. I’ve been all over him but there’s no tree to grab them off of, so we’ll get what we get.”

Ehrhoff, who’ll get $12 million over the next 14 years, had six goals and 27 assists in 79 games last season. He however was a -27. In 692 career regular season games he has 69 goals and 244 assists. In the playoffs he’s totaled seven goals and 27 assists in 73 games.

“I just think it’s so much easier when you have a right and lefty on every pair,” Babcock added. “All you’ve got to do is look at LA, a right and lefty on every pair. It makes it easier to get through the neutral zone. It’s easier off D-zone faceoffs to execute, you have the puck more. You can get it off the wall and shoot it ion the offensive zone. To me it just makes sense.”

The free agent pool for right-handed defensemen is thin and the asking price via a trade – Buffalo’s Tyler Myers or Arizona’s Keith Yandle – is quite steep – Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar or Tomas Jurco.

The Wings, along with numerous other teams, met with the agents for right-handed defensemen Dan Boyle (New York Islanders) and Matt Niskanen (Pittsburgh) Thursday in Philadelphia.

Niskanen, 27, is most likely looking for a lengthy deal, probably a maximum seven years and possibly upwards of $6 million a season to sign.

The Wings would be OK with the length, but they’re not going to break the bank to get him. They may not want to pay him much more annually than what Niklas Kronwall ($4.75 million) is making.

Boyle, who’ll turn 38 next month, and could be had for a two-deal at around $5.5 million a season.

Detroit, which wants its young right-handed defensemen to start the season in Grand Rapids, also could settle on Anton Stralman (Rangers), Stephane Robidas (Anaheim) or Tom Gilbert (Florida).

Detroit has $54.2 million tied up in 18 players for next season and still need to sign restricted free agents Danny DeKeyser, Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan.

With the salary cap at $69 million for next season that’ll leave the Wings close to $10 million to spend on other free agents.

Defenseman Kyle Quincey, who’s unrestricted, is expected to hit the open market.

Daniel Alfredsson and Daniel Cleary, who was promised a possible extension after signing a one-year deal on the first day of training camp, could both re-signed as well.

Ehrhoff, who Wings were interested in 2011, being bought out by Sabres

In 2011 when Brian Rafalski told the Wings he was suddenly retiring it left a huge hole on their blue line.

One player they were looking at in free agency, but wouldn’t overpay for, was Christian Ehrhoff.

Well it appears Ehrhoff is back to being available.

TSN.ca’s Bob McKenzie reported Sunday morning that Ehrhoff is being bought out by the Sabres.

If he is that’ll make him an unrestricted free agent and he can sign with any team on July 1.

Ehrhoff still had seven years left on a 10-year deal with an average salary cap hit of $4 million.

He’s the offensive defenseman the Wings are in need of but he shoots left.

Ehrhoff had six goals and 27 assists in 79 games last season. He however was a -27.

In 692 career regular season games he has 69 goals and 244 assists. In the playoffs he’s totaled seven goals and 27 assists in 73 games.

Bloodline factors in as Wings add more depth at center

If the Detroit Red Wings were drafting bloodlines on the second day of the NHL Entry Draft they may have nailed it with their first pick.

The Wings moved up in the third round to pick center Dominic Turgeon of the Portland Winter Hawks (WHL) Saturday at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

His father, Pierre, who was selected first overall by Buffalo in the 1987 NHL Draft, totaled 515 goals and 812 assists in 1,294 career NHL games.

“It plays into it a lot,” Detroit’s new director of amateur scouting said Tyler Wright when asked how does a bloodline factor in when selecting a player. “You can tell by the way he plays, he’s got great hockey sense.

“It’s a hard league to play in and it’s a hard league to excel in, and when you’re surrounded your whole life with a sport that is your ultimate thing, which means a lot to the family, it’s all about winning at the end of the day,” Wright continued. “We want guys who want to win. We don’t just want to be content with being a player in the NHL. Let’s be a good player and at the end of the day let’s win.”

Detroit traded up with Columbus, sending pick No. 76 and a third-round pick in 2015 to the Blue Jackets to select the two-way center.

Dominic’s uncle, Sylvain, played 12 seasons in the NHL.

“I guess we’re pretty different,” Dominic said when asked to compare his game to his father. “He was a highly offensive player in the NHL. I feel that right now my game is very strong defensively. But I feel as time goes on my offensive game is going to really jump.”

Dominic had 10 goals, 21 assists and was a plus-18 rating in 65 games with Portland last season. He had two goals and six assists in the playoffs leading his team to the WHL final before losing in seven games to the Memorial Cup champion Edmonton Oil Kings.

“I’m going to be a two-way forward,” Dominic said. “I’m going to be a very strong defensive player but I’m also going to be able to produce a lot of offense in my game.”

Dominic was one of five centers the Wings drafted out of their seven picks. They also nabbed a goalie and winger.

Detroit also selected centers Christoffer Ehn (Frolunda Jr., Sweden, 106th), Axel Holmstrom (Skelleftea Jr., Sweden, 196th) and Alexander Kadeykin (Mytischi, Russia, 201st).

With their first pick on Friday, 15th overall, they nabbed Waterford native Dylan Larkin.

“Well, some of them play the wing but we took a lot of forwards, guys who are interchangeable,” Wright said. “But Larkin and Turgeon are both centermen. Dominic Turgeon is a guy that we targeted really high. If we would have had our second (round pick) we would have taken him there. So it prompted us to make a move. He was a guy that we thought if we could get him in the second and he fell into the third we didn’t want to risk that chance by waiting a couple of more picks. We wanted him and he’s got good blood lines.”

After center Calle Jarnkrok was included as part of the deal to land David Legwand prior to the trade deadline it depleted Detroit’s depth chart up the middle.

The Wings’ top centers in the organization are Andreas Athanasiou, Mattias Janmark and Landon Ferraro, who is out of AHL options.

They also added center Tomas Nosek, of the Czech Republic, who’ll compete for a job at training camp.

“We have a bunch of guys that if one pans out, we might have a centerman for (Anthony) Mantha one day,” said Hakan Andersson, the Wings’ long-time director of European scouting. “That’s what we’re hoping. We’ll see. Draft a bunch of guys and then hope.”

They’re a little deeper at forward with Mantha, Teemu Pulkkinen, Martin Frk, Mitch Callahan, Zach Nastasiuk and Tyler Bertuzzi.

In the fifth round the Wings took goalie Thomas (Chase) Perry (Wenatchee, NAHL, 136th) and winger Julius Vahatalo (TPS Jr., Finland, 166th) in the sixth round.

“We always take the best player,” Andersson said. “If we end up with eight defensemen, if they’re just good enough, we can trade a few of them for other assets.

“Calle Jarnkrok was a good prospect for us, we traded him because we needed urgent help,” Andersson continued. “We looked down our lineup before this draft and we were a little bit thin at center. So we did talk about it a little. It just fell that way for us. If there would have been a defenseman we liked more we would have still drafted him. As it turned out, we drafted a couple of centermen that we seriously liked.”