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Wings take another big defenseman early in second round

Detroit trades second fifth-round pick for sixth and seventh-round picks

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji / DetroitRedWings.com

VANCOUVER -- Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman stayed focused on the blue line to open the second day of the draft.

With the 35th pick, the Red Wings selected big defenseman Antti Tuomisto of Assat Pori, which is the same team that Otto Kivenmaki, last year's seventh-round pick, plays for in Finland.

"Obviously, he played on Finland's under-18 national team. I think we all liked him," said Hakan Andersson, Detroit's director of European scouting. "(European scout) Antonin (Routa) has done great homework on attitude, what kind of kid it is. Tyler (Wright, director of amateur scouting) certainly had a little bit of a crush on him also. Big guy, skinny. Certainly can fill out. Very good skater and plays with a natural bite. He's got some physical game in him and he also has a very heavy good shot."

Wright laughed when he was told Andersson said he had a crush on Tuomisto.

"I've liked this kid all year for sure," Wright said. "We talk at length, you watch the playoffs and you see the size of these guys with St. Louis and Boston being in there. That doesn't mean they're big and just big. This is a guy that's 6-foot-5, plays with a real bite to his game. But he's a good player. He's got good sense, he can find the middle of the ice. We really liked him. Obviously, that's why we stepped up and took him. He was a guy that we had targeted for a while at 35 and he happened to be there. We were ecstatic to leave with him."

Listed at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, Tuomisto joins first-round pick Moritz Seider as big defensemen in the Wings' prospect pool.

Red Line Report said of Tuomisto: "Big blue-liner was never on anyone's radar coming into season, but every time we saw him he just kept getting better and became a real RLR favourite. Skating is so much smoother now with vastly increased agility. Puckhandling skills have grown exponentially. Developing into a very complete package with tremendous size and strength, plus the footwork to stick with quicker forwards down low. Uses a long, active stick to break up plays, then transitions the play up ice with head-man passes. Real workhorse on the blue line -- out in all key situations. Has the confidence to carry the puck up, move up into the rush and even lead the break. Uses long strides to get back and break up plays from behind. Love his attitude; gets chippy with forwards -- rugged along the walls and strong in battles. Puck skills have progressed to the point where he's a solid PP contributor - shots are consistently hard and low."

Tweet from @FINjrhockey: #RedWings select ��ss��t U20 defenseman Antti Tuomisto with the 35th overall pick. The big, rangy defenseman with intriguing potential is headed to NCAA for the 2020-21 season. Here's our write-up from final draft ranking. #2019NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/jfQrpbztcY

Tuomisto had nine goals and 26 assists in 45 games for Assat U20 of the Jr. A Sm-Liiga.

For Finland's world junior team, Tuomisto had two assists in five games. Overall for Finland's U18 team in international play, he had 15 assists in 19 games.

Dobber Hockey said: "An offensive defenseman with good skating ability, Tuomisto is still somewhat lanky because of a late growth spurt. Has a very good shot, heavy and accurate. Pretty good puck skills, too, but there‟s room for upgrade. Can be physical at times, another area that will surely improve once he adds more muscle. Tuomisto isn‟t very good in his own zone, though, so that‟s definitely a part of his game he needs to focus on greatly. Had a strong offensive season in Finland‟s top junior level, amassing nine goals and 35 points in 45 games. He declined opportunities to play pro because he wishes to embark on the NCAA route. Tuomisto also skated at the U18 Worlds, where he was used on the second D-pair and second power-play unit. Picked up two points in four outings before being ejected and eventually suspended because of kneeing."

FINALLY FORWARD: With their second pick of the second round, 54th overall, the Red Wings took forward Robert Mastrosimone of the USHL's Chicago Steel.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Rockin' the red, @rmastro9424 🙌 pic.twitter.com/TgWzqyp0Ic

"The Red Wings are a great team, great organization," Mastrosimone said. "A lot of history there. A great city. Just unreal to be drafted there."

Mastrosimone said his meeting with the Wings at the combine went very well.

"When I was in the meeting, we had a really good talk," Mastrosimone said. "We talked a lot of hockey. It went really smooth and felt natural. I had a really good talk with those guys."

In 54 games, Mastrosimone had 31 goals and 29 assists with the Steel.

In describing his game, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Mastrosimone said, "I'd say I'm a high-skilled, 200-foot forward who's got a very hard work ethic. And I'm also able to score and play defense."

Red Line Report agreed with Mastrosimone's self-assessment, saying, "High energy forward who plays a fast and hard north/south game. Small, fast and skates with some explosiveness -- shifty with a quick-twitch and deceptive acceleration. He's got a laser of a shot and quick release, beating goalies cleanly from the outside and in close if given the slightest hint of daylight. Pucks come off his blade in a blur, and he's also a deft passer. Uses sneaky vision to find the smallest of open passing lanes in all three zones. Creates chances and space for teammates by drawing in defensemen with patience, then dishing with touch off both sides of the blade. Avid competitor who works his (butt) off and is not afraid of going to the tough areas to get after pucks and opponents. Pesky defender who attacks the puck, can play in all situations as a go-to guy. Works his bag off on the penalty kill."

He is committed to Boston University next season.

"I think it's going to be a great year," Mastrosimone said. "BU is an awesome school, an awesome hockey program and I'm so excited to get in there. I know a bunch of the guys, there's a bunch here and we all met. We had lunch yesterday. I think it's going to be really fun."

ANOTHER BU GUY BUT WITH WINGS CONNECTION: Mastrosimone mentioned that several players heading to Boston University had met for lunch Friday before the draft.

The Red Wings took another one of those players, Ethan Phillips, with their fourth-round pick, 97th overall.

"Since I was young, the college atmosphere is what I've wanted, the whole school spirit, kind of having the whole community behind you is something really cool," Phillips said. "The opportunity to get the top-notch education is big for me and my family."

For the Wings, having two young prospects at a top college program -- along with defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo, their third-round pick, 71st overall, in 2017 -- is a positive thing.

"I think it's great," Yzerman said. "They have a great facility, great school, competitive program and there's no rush. They can go there for four years, play hockey, get an education, train properly, eat properly. It's a great situation. We're happy for them to go there."

Phillips, a 5-foot-9, 145-pound forward, played for the USHL's Sioux Falls Stampede last season, recording 16 goals and 27 assists in 50 games.

"He's undersized but he's a very fast skater," Wright said. "He's got good hockey sense. He's got very good skill. We just felt the value of where he was at, he's going to go to college, so we've got a little more time to develop with going to college for four years. He's gotta get stronger, obviously. We hope he grows but that's not … I mean, I think if you look at the National Hockey League, there's more and more small players playing. But you've gotta be fast, you've gotta be quick, you gotta have skill. He fit all those bills for us, so that's why we took him."

Phillips already has a special connection to the Red Wings as his family was the billet family for last year's first-round pick, Filip Zadina.

"It was pretty cool," Phillips said. "I was away at school but I got to know him pretty well. I'm sure he's pretty happy for me right now and I'm excited to talk to him and see him."

Then when Phillips met the Wings at the combine, he got a good vibe from the interaction.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: A young @Ethanlaphillips with Mr. Hockey. pic.twitter.com/yDExGJ9fSA

"I had a feeling that there was some pretty good interest," Phillips said. "I felt like I had a really good interview with them at the combine. I had a good connection with them. And then talking to some of their scouts throughout the year."

TRADE TIME: The Red Wings traded the second of their two fifth-round picks, No. 143, to the Buffalo Sabres for No. 177 in the sixth round and No. 191 in the seventh round.

FIFTH AND SEVENTH ROUNDS: After the trade, the Wings had just one fifth-round pick, which they used on defenseman Cooper Moore.

Tweet from @SchlossmanGF: UND commit Cooper Moore goes No. 128 to Detroit in the fifth round. Here's the scouting report on Moore for UND and #redwings fans: https://t.co/tmM2rzS649

"To be honest with you, our U.S. guys kind of pounded the table more than I did," Wright said. "I didn't see him at all this year. They were looking at him and they wanted him. At the end of the day, you gotta listen to who's pounding the table for a specific player at that time. We gave them their opportunity to make the pick."

Moore is 6-foot-1, 181 pounds and had 13 goals and 18 assists in 28 games for Brunswick School.

"Big kid, 6-1, good skater," Wright said. "He's got some hockey background with his relations to (his uncle) Dave Ellett. He's got a little bit of a pedigree there. Going to North Dakota. Good program. We were just intrigued by him."

Ellett is a defenseman who played 16 NHL seasons for the Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues.

Moore will play for the Chilliwack Chiefs of the BCHL, a former team of Dennis Cholowski's, before going to the University of North Dakota in 2020.

With their back-to-back seventh-round picks at 190 and 191, the Red Wings took Russian forward Kirill Tyutyayev and goaltender Carter Gylander.

Tyutyayev led the Russian U18 league in scoring in 2017-18 with 114 points in just 31 games.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Welcome to #Hockeytown, Kirill! #DRWDraft | #LGRW pic.twitter.com/6s6dH9VQgF

Last season with Avto Yekaterinburg, his hometown team and also the hometown of former Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk, Tyutyayev had 19 goals and 41 assists in 60 games to lead the team.

"We thought he was a sleeper," Andersson said. "We really liked him. We kind of played the draft a little bit as far as - we traded one of the picks to go back and get another pick when we thought he'd be available, which he was, so it worked out in our favor. Not a very big guy but another guy that's got skill, that's got sense. We did it with Kivenmaki last year in the seventh round. If these guys play, they're gonna be impact players. Whether they will or not, that's still to be determined yet."

Tyutyayev is listed at 5-foot-9 and 146 pounds.

Gylander is a lanky goalie at 6-foot-5, 172 pounds and is a native of Beaumont, Alberta.

With the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, Gylander had a 2.43 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in 22 games.

Tweet from @SPcrusaders: BREAKING: Congratulations to goaltender Carter Gylander on his selection in the 7th round, 191st overall by the @DetroitRedWings in the #NHLDraft!STORY ��� https://t.co/JxUlSoWcy3 pic.twitter.com/1pyJ1pE3p5

NO CHL PLAYERS: For the first time, the Red Wings did not select a player from any of the major junior CHL leagues -- OHL, QMJHL and WHL.

"Certainly players we were looking at, sixth overall, there were a couple of them right there that we would have had to make a decision on had they been there and they got picked ahead of us," Yzerman said. "Again, with our second-round picks, there's CHL kids there. They just didn't fall into place, they were either just gone before or they were right behind. It's just the way it falls."

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