Analysis: What are the Final Grades for the Red Wings Players?

The Detroit Red Wings finished their season on Friday night with a 5-3 win in New Jersey. The Red Wings finished the season with a 32-40-10 record, good for 25th in the final league standings.  The .451 winning percentage is slightly better than the .439 from 2020 to 2021. The Red Wings had a below-average 18-16-7 record at home, good for 22nd overall in league standings.  Detroit’s dismal record of 14-24-3 on the road placed them 28th out of 32 teams in the NHL.

Here is a look at my final player grades for all Red Wings players who played a minimum of 10 NHL games this year.

Goaltenders

Detroit Red Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic makes a save against the Vancouver Canucks in the first period at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Thursday, March 17, 2022.
Photo: Bob Frid -USA Today Sports

Alex Nedeljkovic

Grade: B

Alex Nedeljkovic became the #1 goaltender early in the season. Nedeljkovic finished the year playing a career-best 59 games for Detroit. He ended up with a record of 20-24-9, with a 3.31 GAA, .901 SV%, and four shutouts. Nedeljkovic has one year left on his contract with a cap hit of $3M and can become a UFA at the end of next season.

Thomas Greiss

Grade: C

Thomas Greiss was the backup goaltender for Detroit for most of the second half of the season. In 31 games, Greiss had a record of 10-15-1, with a 3.66 GAA and a .891 SV%.  Greiss is now 36 and will become a UFA this summer.

Defensemen

Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Moritz Seider

Grade: A+

Moritz Seider had a terrific rookie season in Detroit, where he played 82 games. Seider was Detroit’s best defenseman all season and is the favorite to win the Calder Trophy as the top rookie in the NHL.  In 82 games, Seider was the top-scoring defenseman on the Red Wings and the top-scoring rookie defenseman in the NHL. Seider scored seven goals, 43 assists, 50 points, and had a -9 rating. Next season, Seider will be playing in the second year of his three-year entry-level contract, which will pay him $863,333.

Filip Hronek

Grade: B+

After leading Detroit in scoring last season, Filip Hronek was the second-highest scoring defenseman on the Red Wings this year. In 78 games, Hronek scored five goals, a career-high 33 assists, a career-best 38 points, and a -29 rating. Hronek was in the first year of his three-year extension with the Red Wings this season. Hronek will have a cap hit of $4.4M next year.

Gustav Lindstrom

Grade: C

Gustav Lindstrom became an NHL regular with Detroit this season. In 63 games, Lindstrom scored one goal, 12 assists, 13 points, and had a -12 rating. Lindstrom has one year left on his current contract with a cap hit of $850,000. Lindstrom will be an RFA at the end of next season.

Marc Staal

Grade: C

Marc Staal played 71 games for Detroit this season and finished with three goals, 13 assists, 16 points, and a team-best -1 rating. Now 35, Staal will become a UFA if he remains unsigned with Detroit.

Danny DeKeyser

Grade: D

Danny DeKeyser just finished his 10th season with the Red Wings. Currently 32, DeKeyser is now a UFA, and if he remains unsigned, he can sign with any team once free agency opens in July. In 59 games, DeKeyser chipped in with 11 assists and a -8 rating.

Jordan Oesterle

Grade: D+

Jordan Oesterle finished his first season in Detroit, playing 45 games with the Red Wings. Oesterle scored two goals, six assists, eight points, and a -7 rating. Oesterle has one year remaining on his two-year contract that calls for a $1.35M cap hit. Oesterle can be a UFA after next season.

Jake Walman

Grade: C

Jake Walman played 19 games for Detroit after his trade from St. Louis. During his time in Detroit, Walman earned four assists and had a -6 rating. Walman played 51 games for the entire season and scored three goals, seven assists, 10 points, and a -3 rating. Walman is currently an RFA, and this season, Walman had a cap hit of $725,000.

Olli Juolevi

Grade: Incomplete

Olli Juolevi played eight games for Detroit after he was picked up on waivers from Florida. During his time in Detroit, Juolevi was held pointless with a -1 rating. In 18 total games this season, Juolevi did not score any points and was held to a -1 rating and 18 shots on goal. Juolevi is currently an RFA, and this season, he had a cap hit of $750,000.

Forwards

Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

Dylan Larkin

Grade: A

Dylan Larkin was the top-scoring forward for Detroit this year. In 71 games, Larkin scored 31 goals, 38 assists, 69 points, and a -18 rating. Larkin just completed the fourth year of his five-year contract extension. He had a team-high cap hit of $6.1M and, if unsigned, will become a UFA at the end of next season.

Tyler Bertuzzi

Grade: A

Tyler Bertuzzi finished second in scoring for the Red Wings. Despite only playing 68 games, Bertuzzi scored 30 goals, 32 assists, 62 points, and a -11 rating. Bertuzzi has one year remaining on his two-year contract extension before he can become a UFA. Next season, Bertuzzi will have a cap hit of $4.75M.

Lucas Raymond

Grade: A

Lucas Raymond placed third in NHL rookie scoring and third in scoring for Detroit. Raymond played 82 games for the Red Wings and scored 23 goals, 34 assists, 57 points, and a team-leading -32 rating. Raymond has two years remaining on his entry-level contract with Detroit. Next season, Raymond will once again have a cap of $925,000. 

Pius Suter

Grade: B

Pius Suter also played all 82 games for Detroit. The second-line center scored 15 goals, 21 assists, 36 points, and had a -11 rating. Suter just finished the first year of a two-year contract that he signed with Detroit last summer. He will have a cap hit of $3.25M next season. Suter could become a UFA with Bertuzzi and Larkin if he remains unsigned next summer.

Robby Fabbri

Grade: B

This season, Robby Fabbri was limited to 56 games played for the Red Wings. Fabbri scored 17 goals, 13 assists, 30 points, and had a -23 rating. Fabbri recently signed a three-year contract extension with Detroit that will pay him $4M annually.

Sam Gagner

Grade: C+

Sam Gagner just finished his 15th season in the NHL. Gagner played 81 games and scored 13 goals, 18 assists, 31 points, and had a -4 rating. Gagner had a reasonable cap hit of $850,000 this season and, if unsigned, will become a UFA once again this summer.

Michael Rasmussen

Grade: C

Michael Rasmussen played a career-high 80 games for Detroit this season. Rasmussen placed tied for 5th on the Red Wings with 15 goals scored. Rasmussen also added 12 assists and 27 points and had a -25 rating. Rasmussen just finished the first year of his three-year contract extension, which will pay him $1.46M annually.

Filip Zadina

Grade: C-

Filip Zadina played 74 games for Detroit this season. He scored a career-high ten goals and 24 points, with a -24 rating. Heading into the summer, Zadina is an RFA who had a cap hit of $894,167 this year.

Adam Erne

Grade: D+

Adam Erne played 79 games for Detroit this season. Erne scored six goals, 13 assists, 19 points, and a -22 rating. Erne has one season remaining before he can become a UFA. Next season, Erne will have a cap hit of $2.1M.

Jakub Vrana

Grade: B+

Jakub Vrana played 26 games with Detroit after he returned from shoulder surgery. During his brief season, Vrana scored 13 goals, 19 points, and a -8 rating. In 37 games in a Red Wings uniform, Vrana has now scored 21 goals and 30 points, which would put Vrana on pace for over 40 goals for an entire season. Vrana just finished the first season of his three-year extension with Detroit. Vrana will have a cap hit of $5.25M annually for the next two seasons, and then he can become a UFA.

Joe Veleno

Grade: C-

Joe Veleno played 66 games during his rookie season in the NHL. Veleno scored eight goals, seven assists, 15 points, and had a -14 rating. Veleno has one year remaining on the entry-level contract that pays him $894,167 annually.

Oskar Sundqvist

Grade: C

Oskar Sundqvist was obtained with Walman in the trade for Nick Leddy. During his 18 games in Detroit, Sundqvist scored four goals, four assists, eight points and had a very respectable +1 rating. In 59 games this season, Sundqvist scored eight goals, 15 assists, 23 points, and had a +5 rating. Sundqvist just finished the third year of his four-year extension. Sundqvist will have a cap hit of $2.75M next year, and then he can become a UFA next summer.

Givani Smith

Grade: D+

Givani Smith played 46 games during his first full season in the NHL. Smith scored four goals, three assists, seven points, and had a -6 rating. Smith also led the Red Wings with 108 penalty minutes. Smith has one year remaining on his two-year extension that carries a cap hit of $750,000. Smith will be an RFA next summer.

Carter Rowney

Grade: D+

Carter Rowney only played 26 games for Detroit this year. Rowney scored four goals, two assists, six points, and a -4 rating. Rowney had a cap hit of $825,000, and if he remains unsigned, he will become a UFA this summer.

Mitchell Stephens

Grade: D+

Mitchell Stephens only played 27 games for Detroit this year. Stephens chipped in with six assists and had a -8 rating. This summer, Stephens will become an RFA who had a cap hit of $737,500 this year.

Taro Hirose

Grade: D+

Taro Hirose was recalled after Vladislav Namestnikov was traded to Dallas. Hirose was brought up to audition for a new contract as he will be a UFA this summer. Before the season’s final game, Hirose was placed on waiver by the Red Wings. In 15 NHL games, Hirose scored one goal, three assists, four points, and had a -5 rating. Hirose played 59 games for Grand Rapids (AHL) this year, scoring 15 goals, 38 assists, and 53 points, with a -8 rating.

To start, the guys wrap up the Prospect Tournament and discuss some notable players and what their seasons could look like. Next, we break down Yzerman and Lalonde's media availabilities and the start of training camp. To finish, we look at potential spots for grabs in the lineup and who could fill them.
  1. Edvinsszn
  2. Prospect Tournament Preview and Questions Heading into Next Season
  3. Zadina and Make-or-Break Players
  4. Red Wings at the WJC
  5. Red Wings' Defensive Outlook

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