Red Wings Sign First Rounder To 3-Year Deal

The Detroit Red Wings have wasted no time signing their first-rounder from this year's NHL Draft, the No. 9 pick overall, center Nate Danielson.

It's a three-year entry-level contract. 

With speed and good size, Danielson is another high-end prospect to enter the Red Wings organization, joining the likes of Marco Kasper, Carter Mazur and Simon Edvinsson. 

“My skating and my hockey IQ are two of my biggest strengths,” Danielson said in analyzing his game. “I think my 200-foot game is something that I’ve always had, too.”

Red Wings assistant GM Kris Draper is obviously thrilled about Danielson's prospects. "He's a good-sized centerman and a really smart 200-foot player," Draper said. "He was a captain at age 17, and he's a very impressive young man with real passion towards the game."

Danielson played his junior career with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL; he led the team with 76 points on 32 goals and 44 assists in 63 games last season. Playing in the WHL, he saw plenty of Connor Bedard, and the game's No. 1 prospect and top pick in this year's draft had huge words of praise for Danielson, calling him the toughest opponent that he faced in the league. 

“When we heard that, it was something that put a little smile on our face," grinned Draper.

Danielson becomes the third member of this year's Top 10 Draft Class to put pen to paper with his NHL club. The 18-year-old is expected to spend the coming season back in Brandon.

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports