The Detroit Red Wings nearly made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2024. Unfortunately, they fell just short in Game 82. As a result, their recent focus has been on the 2024 NHL Draft taking place later this month. Detroit is selecting 15th in the draft after the conclusion of the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery in early May.

The Red Wings could go in a few different directions. On one hand, they could certainly use the pick. Detroit has one of the league's best prospect pipelines, but adding to it definitely can't hurt. However, they could also trade the pick on draft night. If they think they can compete next season, then moving it for immediate help is an option.

However, if Detroit sticks and picks, who should they target? Moreover, which prospects should they avoid? Let's take a look at two prospects the Red Wings should pass on if they are available at the 2024 NHL Draft.

Red Wings should pass on Cole Eiserman

USA s Cole Eiserman (34) controls the puck against Finland during the third period of the 2024 U18 s Five Nations Tournament at USA Hockey Arena.
David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

This could certainly prove to be a freezing cold take in a few years. But for now, Detroit would be better off avoiding Eiserman in the NHL Draft. For the record, it's somewhat unlikely that the American winger makes it to 15th overall. In fact, he goes seventh overall to the Ottawa Senators in our latest NHL Mock Draft.

Eiserman is a game-breaking scoring winger. No player in the history of the US National Team Development Program has scored more goals than him. And, yes, the Red Wings certainly could use a player like that. However, the American winger brings little else other than offense.

This is an issue for the Red Wings. They have offensively inclined wingers in Lucas Raymond and Alex DeBrincat. Bringing back Patrick Kane would give them another offense-first winger. Detroit sacrificed defense for offense last season, and it led to their downfall. They need to balance their lineup with players who are responsible at both ends of the ice.

Eiserman certainly could become a two-way player down the line. But Detroit wants to compete sooner rather than later. As a result, it's more beneficial to take a winger who already plays a two-way game. And at the NHL Draft, the Red Wings should have a few two-way wingers to choose from.

Detroit should not consider Michael Hage

Michael Hage is a bit of a rising prospect in the NHL Draft. The Chicago Steel star is an offensive force who exploded this past season for 75 points in 54 games. He can shoot the puck very well and has underrated vision that makes him an excellent playmaker. He is a great prospect, but he is not a great fit for Detroit.

Hage, similar to Eiserman, is more offensive-oriented. Now, he is much better defensively than Eiserman, but centers and wingers have different responsibilities. Still, he checks off the offensive boxes Detroit covets while leaving something to be desired in his own zone.

Beyond that, though, the Red Wings simply don't need a center. Detroit has drafted Marco Kasper and Nate Danielson within the top-10 in 2022 and 2023, respectively. Both players project to play major roles in the NHL. Danielson, specifically, showed a ton of promise during the OHL Playoffs with the Portland Winterhawks.

If the Red Wings want a center, there could be better fits available. Finnish center Konsta Helenius is more of a two-way play driver and played professionally last season. Guelph Storm star Jett Luchanko provides positional versatility and two-way potential if Detroit wants to go off the board a bit.

Overall, Hage is a very good prospect who could sneak into the top-15. He has potential to work as a top-six forward in the NHL. But the Red Wings need someone who plays a different style of hockey. And as a result, they should pass on the Steel star in the 2024 NHL Draft.