Detroit Red Wings 2021 first-round NHL draft coverage: Live updates

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Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman and his hockey operations personnel are gathered Friday at Little Caesars Arena for the first round of the 2021 draft.

The amateur scouts, helmed by director of amateur scouting Kris Draper, are charged with providing input as Yzerman heads up his third draft since taking command of the team he used to captain.

The Wings hold two picks in the first round: their own, at No. 6, and the Washington Capitals', at No. 23, from the Anthony Mantha trade. With the Arizona Coyotes having to forfeit their pick at No. 11 because of combine violations, all picks after that move up one slot.

Steve Yzerman and Kris Draper of the Detroit Red Wings attend the NHL draft at Rogers Arena on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver.
Steve Yzerman and Kris Draper of the Detroit Red Wings attend the NHL draft at Rogers Arena on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver.

Yzerman said Thursday the Wings will draft the player they deem the best one available with their first pick.

“We’re going to pick what we think is the best prospect, who has the most potential, with the sixth pick, regardless of position,” Yzerman said Thursday. “Where we are at and where we are picking, and the age of the kids — it’s too hard to draft for a specific need... You take who you feel is the best prospect. And you try to balance it all out with your depth chart of prospects, but ultimately, especially in the first round, you need to go with the best prospect.”

In 2019, Yzerman used his first pick, at No. 6, on defenseman Moritz Seider. Seider is poised to join the Wings this fall. In 2020, Yzerman drafted, at No. 4, forward Lucas Raymond. He's coming to Michigan, too, but probably will start the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

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Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: NHL draft 2021: Coverage of Detroit Red Wings' first round