Record: 56 Games Played, 19 Wins, 27 Loses, 10 Overtime Loses, 48 Points. (7th In Central Division)
Playoffs: Did Not Make Playoffs
Can Alex Nedeljkovic truly be a starting goalie?
Nedeljkovic is only 25 years old. He was a finalist for the Calder Trophy this past season, posting a record of 15-5-3 record with a 1.90 GAA and a .932 Save Percentage, it even included 3 shutouts. He did post really impressive AHL numbers as well. In 4 years, he has dressed for 154 games, posting an 89-45-14 record with a 2.57 GAA and a .904 Save Percentage, including 14 shutouts. He also has won an AHL Calder Cup recently. This is his first real opportunity as the true number 1 goalie, can he take the next step in his development?
Can Jakub Vrana justify his new contract?
Vrana and the Red Wings were able to come to an agreement of a 3 year deal with an average of $5.25M per season before arbitration. In his NHL career, he has only passed the 20 goal mark, twice. In his entire career, at the junior and senior level, he has never passed the 30 goal mark. Since the time he won the Stanley Cup with Washington in 2018, in 2 playoff series, he’s scored exactly ZERO points. He has shown the capability of being a 30, maybe even a 40 goal scorer, but inconsistency has plagued his play throughout his career. In an new environment, can he take a step forward in his development?
Can the Red Wings take that next step in their rebuild?
The Red Wings have added a lot of good, young pieces, ether via trade or free agency. The Red Wings currently have 9 draft picks for the 2022 NHL Draft. Can the likes of Larkin, Zadina, Vrana, and co. help the Red Wings take the next step in their long rebuild? It’s certainly valuable NHL experience that the young guys need, and having veterans like Gagner, Rowney, Leddy, and Staal to guide the young ones will certainly help.
Vrana – Larkin – Bertuzzi
Fabbri – Suter – Zadina
Namestnikov – Rasmussen – Gagner
Smith – Veleno – Erne
Leddy – Hronek
DeKeyser – Seider
Staal – Stecher
I think they’ll give teams a couple scares throughout the year, but this is not the year for them to get back to the playoffs.