June 18, 2024 7:35 am

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Red Wings 2023 Draft Class: The Future Looks Bright

What’s the future for the Detroit Red Wings 2023 draft picks? Take a dive into the details of this year’s draft class.
A photo of the Detroit Red Wings warming up for a game

Detroit Red Wings 2023 Draft Picks: A Journey Just Beginning

When the NHL Draft rolls around, it’s a time of excitement, anticipation, and life-changing moments for young hockey players. This year, 11 dreams were made a reality for new talents thanks to the Detroit Red Wings. Guided by GM Steve Yzerman, the Red Wings made quite the splash, and the fans are eagerly waiting to see these young stars in action.

First Round Stars: Danielson & Pellikka

Nate Danielson and Axel Sandin Pellikka, the Red Wings’ 2023 draft picks from the first round, are certainly the ones to watch. Danielson, with his excellent skating and puck skills, is reminiscent of hockey legends like Dylan Cozens. Meanwhile, Pellikka shines as a puck-mover, a necessity for the Red Wings.

Nate Danielson

Nate Danielson is a dynamic center for the Brandon team in the WHL. Standing at 6’2″ and weighing 186 pounds, he shoots right and was selected in the first round, landing the No. 9 pick. Born on September 27, 2004, Danielson has proven himself as a force to be reckoned with. Named co-captain of his WHL team during his draft season, he’s excelled in a variety of roles, including being a top play-driver and earning recognition as a second team All-Star in the eastern division of the WHL. Over the prior season, he averaged more than a point per game, indicating his scoring prowess. Invitations to Canada’s U20 and U18 camps further highlight his talents. With above-average puck skills, a competitive streak, and a solid shot, Danielson is touted as a potential high-in-the-lineup all-situations center in the NHL, combining his defensive strength with untapped offensive potential.

Axel Sandin Pellikka

Hailing from Skelleftea, Sweden, Axel Sandin Pellikka is a talented right-shot defenseman. Measuring 5’11” and 180 pounds, Pellikka was selected in the first round at No. 17. Born on March 11, 2005, he is known for his offensive prowess and has established himself as one of the top offensive defensemen in his draft. While playing in Sweden’s junior league, Pellikka exhibited remarkable stats, scoring over a point per game and netting a goal every other game. His prowess didn’t go unnoticed at the international level, as he played an important role with Sweden’s U18 and world juniors team, even earning the title of best defenseman at the U18 worlds. Despite lacking the typical size of an NHL defenseman, he compensates with his competitive nature, agility, and impressive puck skills. With above-average hockey sense, shot accuracy, and a knack for creating opportunities, Pellikka’s main challenge in the NHL will be on the defensive end, but he showcases enough skill and determination to potentially fit into a top-four defensive role.


Journey to the NHL: Where Are They Headed?

1. College Bound:

Two of our new Red Wings are headed to college rinks this season. Trey Augustine is set to be the new goaltender for Michigan State, and Brady Cleveland is off to defend for the Wisconsin Badgers.

2. Sticking to Their Roots:

Nate Danielson, Emmitt Finnie, and Andrew Gibson have chosen to return to Canada’s WHL and OHL leagues. Jack Phelan, on the other hand, will be back in Sioux Falls before making his move to the Badgers in 2024.

3. The Juniors:

From high school to major junior hockey, Larry Keenan will join Penticton of the BCHL, while goalie Rudy Guimond is all set to guard the goal for Cedar Rapids in the USHL.

4. Overseas Adventures:

Noah Dower Nilsson is staying loyal to Sweden’s Frolunda, while Kevin Bicker is all geared up to make a mark in Germany’s DEL league with Lowen Frankfurt.

Final Thoughts: The Future Looks Bright

It’s undeniable – the Red Wings 2023 draft picks hold a lot of promise. Whether it’s the playmaking skills of Danielson, the offensive touch of Pellikka, or the unique physicality of Cleveland, there’s a lot to look forward to. Fans are waiting with bated breath, asking, “What’s next for these kids?”


Well, the journey has just begun. From schools and training to major games and possibly even the NHL, the future holds endless possibilities. So, keep your jerseys ready and your spirits high, for the next season promises thrilling games and fresh talent!


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