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Red Wings go for big players in draft, including a big goaltender

Fourth-round pick is a quickly improving Danish defenseman who plays in Sweden

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

CHICAGO - Although the Red Wings were focused on skaters in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, they did find one goaltender too enticing to pass up.

With their fourth pick of the third round Saturday, the Wings selected Keith Petruzzelli, 88th overall.

"I think my dad might have been the loudest guy in the building," Petruzzelli said. "He was going a little crazy. Tears from my mom and stuff, so it's awesome."

Petruzzelli said his parents, Kathy and Dave, his brother and sister, grandfather, both uncles and a few other family members joined him for the draft at Chicago's United Center.

"We had a couple goalies' names and a couple went off and Petruzzelli was there with that," Wright said. "We got four years of him being able to go to school. He's got size, he's athletic. Obviously our goalie coach, Jeff Salajko, has already been working with him a couple of weeks ago out at a camp in Boston, gave us good feedback on him."

Although he was born in Wilbraham, Mass., and grew up a Boston Bruins fan, Petruzzelli didn't mind putting on the red and white.

"Obviously it's a huge honor to get selected by Detroit," Petruzzelli said. "I'm excited to get started."

Petruzzelli spent the past season playing for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL.

In 35 games with the Lumberjacks, Petruzzelli went 22-10-0-1 with a team record 2.40 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

"It's an incredible league, great place, great atmosphere," Petruzzelli said. "It is the best junior league in the world, I think. It just develops you so well for college hockey. I can't speak highly enough about it."

Petruzzelli already has a connection to the Wings, having met goaltender Jared Coreau.

"I actually met Coreau because Jerry Buckley, my advisor, is his advisor as well so I met him in Grand Rapids because I was playing at Muskegon this year," Petruzzelli said. "He's a great guy and I really look forward to working with all of (the goalies)."

Like Coreau, Petruzzelli is a big goaltender at 6-foot-5.

"I think I play an athletic butterfly," Petruzzelli said. "I rely on my size a bit but still play athletically."

Also like Coreau, Petruzzelli is a fan of Montreal goaltender Carey Price.

"I love how calm and collected Carey Price is so I kind of try to keep that as part of my game," Petruzzelli said. "But I don't try to model my game after anyone."

Unlike Coreau, who is 220 pounds, Petruzzelli is just 190 pounds so he knows he has some work to do.

"I think just continue to work on my footwork, hitting the gym, trying to put some muscle mass on, just get bigger and stronger," Petruzzelli said.

Petruzzelli will get to play alongside his older brother, D.J., a forward, at Quinnipiac University next season.

"I can't wait, incredible program, great coach in Rand Pecknold, get to play with my brother again," Petruzzelli said. "Really looking forward to it."

FOURTH-ROUNDER IS LIKE NEILSEN: With their fourth-round pick, the Wings took defenseman Malte Sostrup-Setkov.

Like current Wings center Frans Nielsen, Setkov is a Denmark native who has played in Sweden.

In 38 games with the Malmo Redhawks J20, Setkov had two goals and 10 assists.

Like many of the Wings' draft picks this year, Setkov is big, listed at 6-foot-6, 192 pounds.

Red Line Report said, "Getting around him is like circumnavigating the globe. There's almost no talk about the Great Dane, but he's a lean 6-5 blue-liner with good athleticism. Massive frame and loads of upside."

The Wings' director of European scouting, Hakan Andersson, said Setkov was like second-round pick Gustav Lindstrom in that he made a lot of strides this past season.

"The junior coach told me they have a junior A and a junior B team," Andersson said. "He started the season on the junior B team and the junior A coach said, 'When I was watching the junior B team practice in August, I kind of laughed at this big, wobbly kid. Come January-February, he was on my power play' on the junior A team. He's six-foot-six and still growing."

Andersson said it was a case of a kid adjusting to a rapidly growing body.

One thing that impressed Andersson was Setkov's eager attitude.

"He still lives in Denmark, so every day he travels across," Andersson said. "There's a big bridge between Sweden and Denmark, and he travels across the bridge. He comes in, he works out and during a lot of (school) breaks and in the summer, he'd do twice a day. The junior B coach said he's been coming there for two years and never once has he complained, or said, 'Can I train at home?' He comes happily every time."

Andersson said the trip takes about 45 minutes each way.

"Their season ended in March," Andersson said. "April and May and into June, he's gone like this. He thinks it's because some NHL teams had interviewed him. He has really started to improve. He's been unbelievable in practices. It used to be, he was a young kid, he was immature and he was having a good time.

"Now it looks like he's on a mission."

SIXTH-ROUND SKATERS: The Wings had two sixth-round picks, spaced two apart at 162 and 164.

They chose forward Jack Adams of the USHL's Fargo Force with No. 162 and defenseman Reilly Webb of the OHL's Hamilton Bulldogs with No. 164.

Adams, who goes by Jack even though his given first name is John, is a 6-foot-5, 194-pound native of Boxford, Mass.

"Just a really big guy, he's got to work on his foot speed and the skating a little bit," Wright said. "But he's got very good hockey sense in and around the net, he's a hard person to handle in front of the net. He's got a good scoring touch. We just thought once we get into that later rounds, we took some size. At the same time,, we wanted, let's try to hit a home run with some skill and hopefully we can work on his skating and get him in the best shape possible. He's got the sense and the skill, he's got the size. We got to work on the other areas."

Adams led the USHL with 37 goals in 56 games. He also had 23 assists.

Webb is 6-foot-3, 198 pounds, and has been limited by separating his shoulder in each of the last two seasons.

"We were on him quite a bit," Wright said. "He only played 12 games this year and I think we were at about nine of the games. Big guy, had a shoulder injury unfortunately, had surgery, came back, good skater, can move the puck, obviously played a limited amount of ice this year. Getting a healthy body, hopefully he can come in and surprise some people."

Webb, who was not in Chicago, tweeted, "Thanks to the @DetroitRedWings for selecting me in the draft! Dream come true!"

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: With their 11th and final pick in the 2017 draft, the Wings took center Brady Gilmour of the of the OHL's Saginaw Spirit at No. 193 of the seventh round.

Gilmour told, "I am speechless right now. I am honored to be drafted by such a great and storied organization. Thank you to the Detroit Red Wings for giving me this opportunity. I could not be happier right now."

Gilmour, 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, was an alternate captain for the Spirit.

"He's a slight kid, he's got to put on some weight," Wright said. "Had a pretty good year on a team that struggled for the most part. They got better as the year went on. We did our background checks with Saginaw. We got a pretty good relationship with them with Filip Hronek being there. You start getting into the seventh round we want a good character kid. The kids that overachieve that are the kids that show the most character."

Gilmour had 26 goals and 21 assists in 65 games for Saginaw.

Gilmour was not at the draft but tweeted, "Thanks to the @DetroitRedWings organization for drafting me. Surreal moment and it's a dream come true! #Hockeytown"

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