2018-19 Record (32-40-10) 74 Pts
Coming off of a 30 win season, expectations were low. The Detroit Red Wings started off losing nine of their first ten games, which set the tone for the rest of the year. They weren’t able to string together any significant winning streaks until March when they won six in a row. Multiple losing streaks of 12/13 and 10/11 guaranteed that this year would end with another chance in the lottery. Even with a less-than-ideal outlook, GM Ken Holland didn’t make any big in-season moves to help the rebuild or help the current team. The two trades that did occur were:
- Detroit traded Gustav Nyquist with 30% of salary retained to San Jose for a 2019 second round pick (Albert Johansson) and a 2020 third round pick
- Detroit traded Nick Jensen and a 2019 fifth round pick (Arseni Gritsyuk) to Washington for Madison Bowey and a 2020 second round pick
Finishing the season below average in almost every category, Detroit was the definition of mediocre.
- 19th ranked Power Play – 18.1%
- 28th ranked Penalty Kill – 77.1%
- 9th ranked Faceoff Win – 50.8%
- 28th ranked Shots Against – 33.7/ Game
- 17th ranked Shooting % – 9.4%
- 22nd ranked Save % – .901%
- 21st ranked Goals Scored – 224 goals
Ranks via NHL.com & Hockey Reference
A means to an end though. The final result of their season was the sixth overall spot in the 2019 Draft.
Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images
Dylan Larkin, the presumptive captain, had a jump in production in his fourth season in the league. His stat line of 32 goals / 41 assists / 73 points / 287 Shots on goal lead the team in all categories, and his 21:51 of average time on ice was second only to Danny Dekeyser’s 21:58. Solidifying his role as the top line center, Larkin has exceeded the expectations most had of the former 15th overall draft pick.
Most Improved Player
Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images
24-year-old Andreas Athanasiou, took a significant step forward last season. Posting a stat line of 30 goals / 24 assists / 54 points / 216 shots on goal, the speedy forward added 14 goals and seven assists to his totals from the prior year. Another one, probably the most telling, was his shooting percentage rebounding from 9.4% last year to 13.9% this year. If the middle six forward can build on his production, he could find himself on the top line.
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Martin Frk followed a solid first season in Detroit with a terrible one. In 2017-18, Frk played in 68 games putting up 11 goals / 14 assists / 25 points on 99 shots on goal, for a shooting percentage of 11.1%. One season after being named Detroit Red Wings Rookie of the Year by the Detroit Sports Media, Frk just couldn’t build on his previous totals. In fact, he took a massive step back. Appearing in just 30 games, he had an abysmal stat line of 1 goal / 5 assists / 6 points on 28 shots on goal for a shooting percentage of 3.6%. He will get another shot next season, just not with Detroit. Frk signed a one year deal with the Los Angeles Kings.
Trade info via CapFriendly
Highlight of the Year
This overtime game-winner occurred on January 4th, 2019.
Current Depth Chart
According to Daily Faceoff, the current projected lines in Detroit are:
- Line 1
Tyler Bertuzzi (LW) – Dylan Larkin (C) – Anthony Mantha (RW)
- Line 2
Andreas Athanasiou (LW) – Frans Neilsen (C) – Filip Zadina (RW)
- Line 3
Evgeny Svechnikov (LW) – Valterri Filppula (C) – Michael Rasmussen (RW)
- Line 4
Justin Abdelkader (LW) – Luke Glendening (C) – Darren Helm (RW)
- First Pair
Dan Dekeyser – Mike Green
- Second Pair
Jonathan Ericsson – Filip Hronek
- Third Pair
Trevor Daley – Madison Bowey
Starter – Jimmy Howard
Back up – Jonathan Bernier
Top Three Prospects
Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images
Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images
Free Agent Signings (as of 7/6/19)
Valtteri Filppula signed a 2 year, $6 million deal on July 1st
Patrik Nemeth signed a 2 year, $6 million deal on July 1st
Calvin Pickard signed a 2 year, $1.5 million deal on July 1st
Gustav Nyquist was traded to San Jose on February 25th 2019
Thomas Vanek was not offered a new contract at the end of the season
Niklas Kronwall was not offered a new contract at the end of the season
The biggest need for Detroit right now is defensive depth. Seider will definitely help, but they need a couple more NHL ready defenseman that can step right in. A couple of names they could be eyeing up are Andrej Sustr, Fredrik Claesson and Justin Falk. All could be signed to reasonable contracts, and have the ability to step in to play bottom four minutes immediately.
This Detroit Red Wings team is headed in the right direction. With The Wizard, Steve Yzerman, leading the way, it could turn around very quickly. Only time will tell for sure, but all signs are pointing up in Detroit.
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