Are Dylan James, Buium Bonus First Round Picks For Red Wings?


When it comes to the Detroit Red Wings drafts of the past two years, many hockey prospect pundits are viewing their second-round picks almost as though they are bonus first-round picks.

Last season, defenseman Shai Buium (36th overall) was thought of in this manner. Likewise, left-winger Dylan James (40th overall) of this year’s draft crop, is also being identified as a fast-rising potential star.

“I think he’s a pretty good all-around player the little bit I’ve seen him,” Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman said of James. “Excellent athlete. He plays hard.”

Red Line Report Chief Scout Kyle Woodlief listed James as the “fastest riser on our list in the season’s second half.”

“Came on like gangbusters down the stretch,” Woodlief noted. “One of the keys to the Sioux’s shocking run to the championship…Second half offensive production was off the chart.”

James Has Reputation For Being Clutch Scorer

In the USHL, where he helped the Sioux City Musketeers win the Clark Cup titles, James gained a reputation for netting big goals at key moments. He scored five times in 10 playoff games.

“I don’t really know why I score in those times,” James admitted. “Honestly, I feel like I don’t know. I seem to score in those moments. I couldn’t tell you why. It just works out.”

Buium A Slick Puck Mover

Interestingly, Buium also played at Sioux City. Last season, he won an NCAA title with the Denver Pioneers.

“It was incredible. We had a special group and we did a special thing,” Buium said. “Probably one of the best times of my life.”

Draft expert Russ Cohen, a regular on NHL Network Radio, thinks Buium should be viewed as a first rounder.

“Buium moved up the charts and he has late first round talent,” said Cohen, owner of the Sportsology website and a contributor to EP Rinkside. “Buium’s offense has been emerging. His passing is a strength. He has a knack for seeing plays develop. Finding those spaces is very important, especially if you have creative forwards to work with. “

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