The quarter-mark of the 2022-2023 season has come and gone, and it’s time to grade each of the current Red Wings healthy players. The rankings will be based on how each player has performed after Game #21 on Monday night against Toronto.
Dylan Larkin has played all 21 games for the Red Wings. He currently leads Detroit in scoring with nine goals, 15 assists, 24 points, and a +9 rating. Larkin is currently negotiating an extension with Detroit. Failure to sign an extension could mean that Larkin is playing the final games of his career in Detroit.
Dominik Kubalik was added to the Red Wings roster after signing a two-year deal during the summer. He has been terrific, leading the Red Wings in power-play points and currently second in scoring with 22 points in 21 games.
David Perron has brought the much-needed leadership missing from the Detroit lineup. Perron is currently fourth in Red Wings scoring and has contributed 16 points in 21 games.
Lucas Raymond is starting to heat up and is on pace to match last year’s production. Through 21 games, Raymond has 14 points, good for fifth in scoring.
Andrew Copp got off to a slow start because of off-season surgery. He is now at full strength, but for me, he has been a disappointment. Through 21 games, Copp has two goals and 11 points, and a -2 rating.
Adam Erne continues to be an honest, hard-working forward for the Red Wings. Through 21 games, Erne has three goals, ten points, and a -5 rating. Erne can become a UFA next summer and will likely be used as a trade chip at the deadline.
Michael Rasmussen continues to show maturity in his game. He works hard and uses his size to his advantage. He sometimes appears snakebitten and has difficulty generating offense at the NHL level. Through 19 games played, Big Ras has three goals, nine points, and a -1 rating.
Pius Suter has shown the ability to play anywhere in the lineup. The impending UFA has four goals and eight points through 20 games played.
Oskar Sundqvist works hard but doesn’t seem to have much offense to his game. He shouldn’t be on the power play, but he does create havoc when he is on the ice. The impending UFA scored one goal and seven points in his first 14 games.
Jonatan Berggren was recalled because of an injury three weeks ago and has shown why he is such a dynamic playmaker. Through eight games, Berggren has one goal, four assists, five points, and a +2 rating.
Joe Veleno works hard and uses his speed and size to be an effective player in the offensive zone. So far, Veleno hasn’t shown the ability to be a dynamic offensive player, as he has struggled to produce points at the NHL level. Through 20 games, Veleno has three goals, four points, and a +2 rating.
Tyler Bertuzzi is off to a disappointing contract year with the Red Wings. In game two, Bertuzzi broke his hand, and since his return to action, he has been a disappointment. If he is not signed to an extension by the deadline, expect Bertuzzi to be traded to a playoff contender.
Filip Hronek is, without question, the most improved player on the Red Wings roster. Not only is he leading all Detroit defensemen with six goals and 18 points through 21 games, but he also leads the Red Wings with a +10 rating.
Moritz Seider got off to a slow start and, on Monday, was named as one of the game’s three stars for the first time this year. Through 21 games, Seider has two goals, 11 points, and a disappointing -10 rating.
Olli Maatta came to the Red Wings as advertised, a defense-first defenseman who will help stabilize the defensive core. Through 21 games, Maatta has two goals, seven points, and a +7 rating.
Ben Chiarot is a big defenseman who has disappointed me in his inability to headman the puck to the forwards. Playing with Seider, the duo has struggled to play against the top players, and it has resulted in some poor defensive statistics for both players. Through 21 games, Chiarot has scored two goals, six points, and a -9 rating.
Robert Hagg started strong but has recently been a healthy scratch. Through 12 games, Hagg has two assists and a -6 rating.
Jake Walman recently played the first six games of his season. Although not flashy offensively, Walman is a nice addition to the bottom defense pairing for Detroit. He has one assist and a +5 rating to start the season.
Jordan Oesterle has filled in nicely during the last few games. He works hard and is strong in his own end. In 11 games played, Oesterle has one goal and a +8 rating.
Gustav Lindstrom is just coming back from injury, but he will have difficulty cracking the current lineup. Through 13 games, Lindstrom has one assist and a -5 rating.
Ville Husso has taken over the #1 job in the Detroit goal. Through 21 games, Husso made 15 starts and earned three shutouts. Husso is likely the most important addition to this year’s version of the Red Wings.
Alex Nedeljkovic has been relegated to being Husso’s backup. He has made six starts and has struggled to find any consistency this year. An impending UFA, Nedeljkovic will need a string of strong games leading into the trade deadline if he wants to return to the Red Wings next year.
The Red Wings have several players that will return to active duty in the near future. The additions of Jakub Vrana, Robby Fabbri, Filip Zadina, and to a lesser extent, Elmer Soderblom will provide Detroit with the added depth needed to make a run at a playoff spot in the difficult Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. It should be an exciting second half to an already successful season with Derek Lalonde at the helm of a Red Wings team that appears ready for playoff action.