Tom McCollum– first round pick in 2008.
The Red Wings took McCollum with the last pick in the 2008 draft after winning the Stanley Cup. They were hoping he would eventually take over the starting duties with Dominik Hasek retiring and Chris Osgood getting up there in age. McCollum failed to impress once he got to Grand Rapids and got sniped in his only NHL action against St. Louis. Once he rookie contract was up, Detroit declined to re-sign him. McCollum signed a minor league deal with Grand Rapids in hopes that he could prove himself that way. Over the past two season, McCollum has put up decent numbers in Grand Rapids, but Petr Mrazek has leapfrogged him on the depth chart. With Jake Paterson heading to the AHL next season, it will be unlikely that McCollum stays in Grand Rapids, unless Mrazek is promoted to the big leagues.
Next five picks: Jacob Markstrom, G; Slava Voynov, D; Phil McRae, C; Jake Allen, G; Nicolas Deschamps, C.
Others passed over: Roman Josi, Justin Schultz, Derek Stepan, Adam Henrique, Braden Holtby.
Dick Axelsson– second round pick in 2006.
After a promising 2005-06 campaign by another big, Swedish winger, Johan Franzen, the Red Wings opted to take a similar player in Dick Axelsson. He played three more seasons in Sweden before coming over to North America. Axelsson only played 17 games with Grand Rapids before returning to Sweden. He never got used to the NHL rinks across the Atlantic and returned to Farjestads to finish out the 2009-10 campaign. Axelsson has put up good numbers in Sweden’s top league, but never found his stride in North America. Perhaps he did not give it enough time here or Detroit let him ripen for too long in Sweden? Either way, he was a lost pick that could have been a much better player had the Red Wings picked someone else.
Next five picks: Jamie McBain, D; Jonas Junland, D; Brian Strait, D; Ryan White, C; Kirill Tulupov, D.
Others passed over: Steve Mason, Brad Marchand, Cal Clutterbuck, James Reimer, Matt Beleskey.
Christofer Lofberg– third round pick in 2005.
In the third round of the 2005 draft, the Red Wings selected Chistofer Lofberg out of Djurgardens’ junior team. Lofberg would play the next two season on the top team in Djurgardens, but never developed into the player the Red Wings thought he would. The big center bounced around after leaving Djurgardens and was never signed by Detroit or Grand Rapids.
Next five picks: Danny Syvert, D; Phil Oreskovic, D; Mikko Lehtonen, RW; Mark Fraser, D; Ben Bishop, G.
Others passed over: Keith Yandle, Vladimir Sobotka, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Tom Pyatt, Alex Stalock.
Igor Grigorenko– second round pick on 2001.
Igor Grigorenko was a questionable player to include on this list. The second round pick from 2001 was in a horrible car accident 2003 that caused him to miss most of the 2003-04 season. It took him time to find his game, but many believed that he wold not be the player he was. Grigorenko played in Russia until 2007, then moved to Grand Rapids to start the 2007-08 campaign. He played in five games and failed to register a point. Grigorenko then went back to Russia to play in the KHL, where he still plays today. Who knows what could have been if he did not get in the car accident in 2003 that derailed his career. Grigorenko could have been on the Red Wings playing on Pavel Datsyuk’s wing.
Next five picks: Peter Budaj, G; Tomas Malec, D; Brendan Bell, D; Fedor Fedorov, C; Robin Leblanc, R.
Others passed over: Patrick Sharp, Ray Emery, Christian Ehrhoff, Kevin Bieksa, Mike Smith.