Revisiting the 2011 draft for the Detroit Red Wings
Tomas Jurco checked by Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks, January 23, 2016 (Photo: Tim Fuller, USA TODAY Sports)

With the 2016 draft being this Friday the 24th, this article will revisit the 2011 draft for the Red Wings. The Red Wings had nine draft picks in 2011, and six already are or look to be in the National Hockey League one day in the future.

Out of those six, two are in the NHL for the Wings, two are now out of waiver eligibility, and the other two are in other organizations. Out of the other three, Richard Nedomlel is in the St. Louis Blues organization after being traded, Marek Tvrdon left for the Kontinental Hockey League, and Philippe Hudon is in the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport Hockey League) after not panning out.

Players already in the NHL

Tomas Jurco- Jurco played three seasons for the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Jurco then went on to play one whole season in the American Hockey League for Grand Rapids and had NHL time the season after. Jurco was called up in 2013-14 and had 15 points in 36 games. That season left the hopes for Jurco pretty high, but he did not improve in 2014-15. That season he had 18 points in 63 games, a three-point improvement in more games played. Tomas Jurco has not panned out for the Red Wings and is now a depth player and potential trade chip. Although Jurco did make the NHL, he has not reached expectations.

Alexey Marchenko- The lone seventh round pick of the Wings this draft has turned out to be the best player to come out of the draft for the Red Wings. Marchenko is 6’3” 210 pounds and shoots right-handed. After playing one game in 2013-14, 13 in 2014-15, and 66 this past season, Marchenko has found his spot. Marchenko came in and put up 11 points in his largest chunk of NHL time to date. Marchenko still has a lot inside him that has not been developed yet, and that’s what makes his future so promising. Defenseman specialist and new Red Wings assistant Doug Houda is the perfect fit to further develop Marchenko and the other defenseman in the Wings organization.

Alexey Marchenko clears the puck away from the net, April 2nd, 2016 (Photo:Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Alexey Marchenko clears the puck away from the net, April 2nd, 2016 (Photo:Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Waiver eligible prospects from the 2011 draft

Xavier Ouellet- Red Wings Assistant General Manager Ryan Martin has stated that Xavier Ouellet will be on the team next season. His role appears to be that of a seventh defenseman the way the roster looks now. Ouellet became a leader for the Griffins last season, and his play reflected that. He tallied 29 points in 61 regular season games for his best pro total yet. In fact, Ouellet was an AHL All-Star, participating in the hardest shot competition. He registered shots in the mid-90’s. Ouellet looks to join the group of successful prospects from the 2011 draft.

Ryan Sproul- The popular belief is that the former Canadian Hockey League defenseman of the year is a better prospect than Xavier Ouellet, but just hasn’t been able to put it together. The 6’4” 206-pound right-hander had a career-best 35 points in 75 games this past season. If he doesn’t get traded, he’ll be in competition with Xavier Ouellet for the seventh defenseman spot on the roster. With his booming right-handed shot and improved two-way play, he should find a spot on an NHL roster sooner than later.

Promising prospects in other organizations

Mattias Backman- Now in the Dallas Stars organization after the Erik Cole trade, Backman looks to make the jump to the NHL in the near future after a promising first full American Hockey League season. Backman had 32 points in 69 games for the Texas Stars. With their General Manager Jim Nill saying he’s confident in his defensive prospects, Backman does have a good chance. Alex Goligoski was traded to Arizona and apparently, Kris Russell and Jason Demers will be walking too. Esa Lindell will fill one of those spots, but the other two are up for grabs.

Alan Quine­- Quine was drafted by the Red Wings, but he chose to re-enter the draft after not getting signed after his Amateur Tryout contract. The New York Islanders drafted him in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. Quine made a 12 game debut with the Islanders this past season. He had one point in two regular-season games, and five points in ten playoff games. Quine looks to have an NHL future if he continues improving.

The picks who didn't work out

Richard Nedomlel- With 10 points in 66 games in his first Western Hockey League season, the Red Wings saw enough potential to take him in the sixth round. That season was his first North American season, coming from the Czech U18 league. After two more WHL seasons, he played 60 games in the East Coast Hockey League and 3 in the AHL during the 2013-14 season. Nedomlel’s numbers kept going down, and the Red Wings traded him to the St. Louis Blues for future considerations this past season. Although purely for depth, Nedomlel still hasn’t produced for the Blues. He could be headed to a foreign league soon.

Marek Tvrdon- Tvrdon was pushed out of North America by Joel Rechlicz and Triston Grant, basically. The Griffins essentially signed Grant out of courtesy for the Calder Cup run, and Rechlicz wasn’t needed as an enforcer as much as the Griffins thought he might. That didn’t pan out. Tvrdon had 21 points in 23 ECHL games in 2015-16 and had 29 points in 51 AHL games in 2014-15. Tvrdon was let out of his contract to go play in the KHL after being told he wasn’t going to become a permanent fixture on the Griffins roster. This is one of those moves that makes you go, “hmmm”.

Philippe Hudon- The fifth round pick of the Red Wings out of Choate Rosemary Hall of the United States High School league, Hudon turned into a bust of a prospect. Hudon decided to play with the Victoriaville Tigres of the QMJHL over going the NCAA route at Cornell University. After spending three years in the “Q”, Hudon now plays for Concordia University of the CIS. The Red Wings fan base wishes him the best in his future career.

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