Detroit Red Wings: Season Outlook

Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

With the Red Wings regular season starting on Friday, here are some questions to ponder as we get closer to the upcoming season. With as many as eight new players in the lineup, it certainly will be one of the more anticipated seasons in recent years.

Will the changes transfer into wins during the season? We will find out as the season progresses.

What do you expect from the Red Wings this season?

This year’s Detroit Red Wings team will have more depth than last year. Led by Dylan Larkin and the newly acquired Andrew Copp, the Red Wings have two lines that can score. The additions of Copp, David Perron, Dominik Kubalik, and rookie Elmer Soderblom should provide the Red Wings with an improved power play. The team also has more prospect depth in Grand Rapids. Jonatan Berggren, Cross Hanas, and Givani Smith are all forwards who will start the year in the AHL, but players who can fill in if injuries begin to plague the Detroit forwards during the season.

The biggest question mark will once again be on defense. The Red Wings signed Ben Chiarot, Olli Maatta, Robert Hagg, and Mark Pysyk to free-agent contracts. These additions, along with Moritz Seider and Filip Hronek, will provide the Red Wings with a legitimate top-four in defense pairings.  

In goal, Alex Nedeljkovic will be joined by Ville Husso, who was acquired by trade before the free agency period in July. The pair will form a solid 1-2 goaltending duo. The additions to the team should allow the team to be more competitive on a nightly basis, leading to more wins on the season.

Who will be the Red Wings MVP?

Tyler Bertuzzi has the ability and desires to be the Red Wings MVP this year. Last year, Bertuzzi missed all of the games played in Canada yet still scored 30 goals for Detroit. Now that the Canadian border restrictions have ended, if Bertuzzi stays healthy, he could be looking at anywhere between 30-40 goals. Now 27, Bertuzzi could become a UFA at the end of the season. He must stay healthy and desire to remain with the Red Wings for the long haul. If everything goes as planned, Bertuzzi could be the top scorer and MVP of the Red Wings this year.

Who will be the Red Wings Breakout Player?

Elmer Soderblom

I would like to see Filip Zadina break out and become a dominant scorer in the NHL. He was given every chance last year and could not produce on a nightly basis. With three free agent forwards signed, the depth at forward has moved Zadina down the depth chart. For this reason, I think Detroit fans will be excited to see Elmer Soderblom blossom in his rookie season with Detroit. Soderblom had a terrific Prospects Tournament and continued to show flashes of brilliance in the preseason. If he is allowed to flourish, Soderblom can score 20 goals playing in the Red Wings middle-six of forwards.

What’s one wild prediction you have for the Red Wings this season?

Connor Bedard is the consensus #1 pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft

The Red Wings will miss the playoffs and win the draft lottery. They will then pick Connor Bedard with the #1 pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.

What’s one Red Wings prediction that seems more realistic?

The Red Wings will miss the playoffs for a seventh consecutive year and have an opportunity to move up in the draft lottery for the first time. The lottery gods are not in Detroit’s favor; they pick exactly where they finished in the non-playoff standings.

Which Red Wing do you see being traded by the deadline?

Olli Maatta will be a UFA next summer

Olli Maatta will be Steve Yzerman’s best trade candidate. The Red Wings will sign Bertuzzi, Larkin, and Nedeljkovic to extensions. Defense prospects Simon Edvinsson and Albert Johansson will be full-time NHL players by the deadline.

Draft Targets and the Stanley Cup Final The Production Line Podcast

In this episode, we recap the World Championships, highlighting Kubalik, Seider, Mazur. Next, we take a long look at the 2023 first round and which players will be available at 9th and 17th. 
  1. Draft Targets and the Stanley Cup Final
  2. Trade Targets and Mazur's Case
  3. Should They Stay or Should They Go?
  4. The Ninth Overall Pick and Playoff Check-In
  5. Red Wings' End of Season Review

Chris Giles

Chris Giles is a former junior hockey player and coach from Canada. He has been a diehard Detroit Red Wings fan for almost 50 years. Chris is an avid golfer who has volunteered at several PGA and Canadian Open Championships throughout North America.

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