The Detroit Red Wings enter the 2022-23 season with a new coach, and seven new players acquired over the summer. GM Steve Yzerman hired Coach Derek Lalonde who was an assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Lighting, who replaced former coach Jeff Blashill. Ironically Blashill was hired to replace Lalonde at Tampa Bay. GM Steve Yzerman signed the new players with the hope of taking the next step to being a competitive team as the rebuild continues.
The analysis of the team will be compiled by position, not by potential lines or defensive pairings as they obviously will change during the course of the season.
Each player’s jersey number appears alongside his name and position.
Dylan Larkin C (71)
Larkin is the team Captain, and scored 31 goals in 71 games last season. He is the team leader, and is expected to do better this season if he stays healthy.
Tyler Bertuzzi LW (59)
Bertuzzi was not allowed to travel to Canada last season due to COVID restrictions, hence the reason he only participated in 68 games. He had a good comeback from back surgery, and will be an UFA after this season. It should be interesting where this situation goes.
Lucas Raymond LW (23)
Raymond was a big surprise last season making the team out of training camp. He showed a great vision on the ice with not only his ability to set his teammates up, but also a great scoring finish. He is expected to improve this season.
Pius Suter C (24)
Suter was used as a second line Center last season. While he had an O.K. season, the team expected more. The plan this season is to have him center the third line.
Filip Zadina RW (11)
Zadina was signed to a team friendly three-year contract last summer. He was expected to be a sniper, which has not materialized as yet. He becomes frustrated when the puck doesn’t go into the net, but he tends to play a perimeter game. He needs to go to the net as that’s were the cookies (goals) are. If does that and scores, his confidence should also improve.
Michael Rasmussen C (27)
Rasmussen is a big player, and began asserting his size later in the season which resulted in goals. Coaches always stressed using his size to charge the net. The same is expected this season.
Adam Erne LW (73)
Erne’s last season was a disappointment when compared to the previous one. His goal output was cut in half, so obviously the team expects a bounce back season. He is a bigger player, and has a scoring touch, and he needs to utilize it.
Jakub Vrana LW (15)
Vrana missed most of last season due to shoulder surgery, but still managed to score 13 goals in just 26 games. The Red Wings are expecting a big season from him.
Joe Veleno C (90)
Veleno made the team out of training camp this season, but it’s possible he could still be sent back to the minors. He lost some weight over the summer, and feels it helped him with his skating. The team still wants him to hone his skills, so it remains to be seen if he stays on the roster.
Oskar Sundqvist C (70)
Sundqvist is 6 ‘3” and weighs 208 pounds. He played 18 games after being obtained in a trade with St. Louis. He adds size, something the Red Wings have been lacking, and is projected as being a fourth line center.
David Perron LW (57)
Perron was signed as an UFA who played for St. Louis in 2021-22. He scored 27 goals last season, and isn’t afraid to mix it up with an opponent. Obviously, the Red Wings expect the same.
Dominik Kubalik LW (81)
Kubalik was also signed as an UFA who played for Chicago in 2021-22. He scored 15 goals while with Chicago, and is projected for the third or fourth line to add scoring.
Andrew Copp C (18)
Copp was signed as another UFA. He played the majority of his games in Winnipeg before he was traded to the N.Y. Rangers. His statistics are from his playing time in New York. He is projected being a second line center.
Elmer Soderblom LW (85)
Soderblom made the team after an impressive training camp. He is tall 6’ 8”, and has shown great hands. He may be sent to the minors to further develop his game.
Robby Fabbri C (14)
Fabbri will be out of the lineup until sometime in January 2023 after having knee surgery. He has the scoring touch, but is lacking on the defensive end.
Moritz Seider RD (53)
Sieder won the Calder Trophy (Rookie of The Year) in 2022, and should improve if that’s possible. He is the team’s number one defenseman, and doesn’t back down from anyone.
Filip Hronek RD (17)
Hronek had a down season compared to the previous one. In the process he seemed to lose confidence, and it showed. Both he and the team are looking for a return to his prior form.
Jordan Oesterie, LD (82)
Oesterlie was used primarily as a sixth or seventh Defenseman last season, and will fill a similar role this season.
Ben Chiarot LD (8)
Chiarot was signed as an UFA by the Red Wings. He split last season between the Montreal Canadiens and the Florida Panthers (trade deadline acquisition). The team is counting on him to bring some stability to the defense.
Robert Hagg LD (38)
Hagg is primarily another UFA depth signing. His numbers reflect his time with Florida after being traded from Buffalo.
Ollie Maatta LD (2)
Maata is another UFA signing who played for the Los Angeles Kings last season. He is an in-your-face player that the Red Wings are looking for to improve their defense.
Gustav Lindstrom RD (28)
Lindstrom was used as a sixth or seventh defenseman last season. He is another player who had an off season. He is a stay-at-home player who plays a safe defensive game. The team is hoping for more from him this time.
Jake Walman LD (96)
Walman was obtained in a trade with St. Louis last season as a depth defenseman. He has a hard shot, and isn’t afraid to use it. He should be rejoining the team soon.
Alex Nedeljkovic (39)
Nedeljkovic had a season he would like to forgot, and is hoping to rebound this upcoming season. He should with an improved defense.
Ville Husso (35)
Husso was obtained in a trade with St. Louis last season to provide a tandem with Alex Nedeljkovic. The plan is to split the season workload, with the hot goaltender taking the lead. With an improved defense they should both fare better.
The team has added many new players through trades and UFA’s, so what are the prospects for improvement?
Obviously, the team and fans are looking for improvement, and there should be. At least in the standings. Will the team improve enough to compete and make the playoffs? The simple answer is no. There are many reasons which won’t be discussed, but the biggest one is the Red Wings play in the Atlantic Division which is the toughest in the NHL.
The team would do well to break even (.500 record) which would be an obvious improvement. That would translate to around 85 points, but to make the playoffs as a wild card team would require around 100 points. Maybe next season.