I'll give the Wings a pass on their 2001 draft, the highlight of which was an eighth round pick of Dimitri Bykov who managed 71 NHL games respectably. 2002 was absolute wizardry at the draft table. First off the Wings had only four first round picks in the whole decade, 19th overall being the highest of them. In 2002 they took Jiri Hudler 58, Thomas Fleischmann 63 and Val Filpula 95...not a bad line in the NHL today if they were still all together. But wait, that's not all; they stole Derek Meech at 229 and Jonathan Ericsson at 291 that same year.
In 2003 their first pick didn't come until the third round, no biggy for Detroit, they only snapped up current starting goalie Jimmy Howard. In 2004 they didn't pick until the fourth round, again they turned up an all-star at 97th in current team leading goal scorer Johan Franzen.
At this point it gets difficult to rate their performance as they take so long for picks to make it to the NHL, and that's part of why they are so good. I don't think their draft record would look as impressive if they didn't have the talent development system that they do, but, they do, so you can't discredit them.
In my opinion taking Jakub Kindl at 19th in 2005 was a great pick. He's a big, rangy defenseman and after posting five points in eight games in Grand Rapids he is now up with the big club. What was stupifying was their ability to find Justin Abdelkader at 42nd, Mattias Ritoal in the 4th round and Darren Helm in the 5th that same year.
2006 the Wings used their first pick, 41st overall to take Cory Emmerton, who is showing some seriuos potential in Grand Rapids with 20 points in 27 games. The Wings also took current NHLer Shawn Matthias in the second round that year. 2007 the Wings used a rare first rounder to take a big d-man out of Ontario Jr. A. Now Brendan Smith is dominating in the AHL with 22 points in 36 games in Grand Rapids. 2008 the Wings attempted to re-stock the goaltending cabinet taking Thomas McCollum at 30th. He's been between the ECHL and AHL this season, but he is a big goalie just a bit of a project. 2009's first pick Landon Ferraro has fallen off the face of the planet, not to worry, the Wings sniped Thomas Tatar 60th overall with their next pick; he's leading Grand Rapids in scoring this season.
The second highest pick of the decade came last year at 21st when the Wings took Riley Sheehan who also seems to have lost his game, but the silver lining as always comes in the later rounds where the Wings took Calle Jarnkrok who just dominated the WJC at 51st, and Teemu Pulkinen at 111.
Is it the process or the pick? Who knows. The fact remains the Wings have done an awful lot with very little. Taking draft position in to consideration it's hard not to give the Wings an A+. Barely an A+ but take a look at the stars in their roster and where they drafted them, and then look at the farm system and it's clearly an A+.