Red Wings 2022 Opening Night Roster, Final Prediction

The main training camp of the Detroit Red Wings is only three weeks away, and once again, it appears that there are more bodies than roster spots. Several players have been signed through free agency, and all Red Wings RFA’s have been signed for the upcoming season.

The Red Wings appear deeper and more skilled than in previous seasons when the team missed the playoffs. Even if they fall short, this team should challenge for a playoff spot and be enjoyable to watch throughout the long season.

Here is my final roster prediction before training camp starts next month.

Predicting the Centers

Dylan Larkin, C

The center position has remained unchanged since the free agency period started in July. Dylan Larkin looks ready to lead the top line again this year. Andrew Copp was added to bolster the depth down the middle. Pius Suter is entering his second year in Detroit and will center the third line. Joe Veleno will start the year at center on the fourth line.

Michael Rasmussen could center the third or fourth lines, but the addition of Copp likely moves Rasmussen to the wing. Rasmussen’s versatility will go a long way in ensuring that he stays in the lineup.

Opening Night Centers: Dylan Larkin, Andrew Copp, Pius Suter, Joe Veleno

Predicting the Left Wingers

Tyler Bertuzzi, LW

The left-wing position remains the same as it has been since the start of free agency. Tyler Bertuzzi will start the year on the top line, but his refusal to get vaccinated against Covid-19 will prohibit him from playing ten games in Canada this year. He will also be a UFA next summer, so stay tuned to the Bertuzzi saga as it unfolds throughout the season.

Jakub Vrana is healthy and ready to play on a new line this year. Dominik Kubalik has the potential to score while playing on a line with Suter. Rasmussen moves to the left wing to start the season but will likely see time throughout the lineup.

Impending UFA Adam Erne will start the year as an extra. He can play either wing and anywhere in the bottom-six forward group. Givani Smith will be placed on waivers and, if left unclaimed, will report to the AHL in Grand Rapids. Robby Fabbri starts the year on the IR after surgery to repair his knee.

Opening Night Left Wingers: Tyler Bertuzzi, Jakub Vrana, Dominik Kubalik, Michael Rasmussen

Extra: Adam Erne

IR: Robby Fabbri

Predicting the Right Wingers

Lucas Raymond, RW

Lucas Raymond will start the year on the top line once again this year. The addition of David Perron will give Detroit two solid scoring lines. Filip Zadina recently signed a three-year extension to remain in Detroit. He will likely play on the third line with Suter and Kubalik. Oskar Sundqvist will start the year with Veleno and Rasmussen. This fourth line will see plenty of ice time and will be challenging to play against because of their size and skill set.

Opening Night Right Wingers: Lucas Raymond, David Perron, Filip Zadina, Oskar Sundqvist

Predicting the Defensemen

Moritz Seider, RD

The defense will see the most significant change in the Detroit roster. Gone are Nick Leddy, Marc Staal, and Danny DeKeyser. The Red Wings will insert Ben Chiarot and Olli Maatta into the top four with Moritz Seider and Filip Hronek returnees. The bottom pairing will change as players get injured or return from the IR throughout the year. Jordan Oesterle will start the year on the bottom, pairing with returnee Gustav Lindstrom. Robert Hagg could easily replace Oesterle on the bottom pair. Steven Kampfer was brought in from the KHL as they added depth on the right side of the blue line.

Jake Walman and Mark Pysyk will both start the year on the IR. Youngsters Simon Edvinsson, Albert Johansson, and Jared McIsaac will likely begin the year in Grand Rapids (AHL) but are only a phone call away if they are deemed ready for the NHL.

Opening Night Defensemen: Moritz Seider, Filip Hronek, Gustav Lindstrom, Ben Chiarot, Olli Maatta, Jordan Oesterle

Healthy Scratch: Robert Hagg, Steven Kampfer

IR: Mark Pysyk, Jake Walman

Predicting the Goaltenders

Alex Nedeljkovic, G

With the acquisition of Ville Husso from St. Louis, the goalie position is set. Husso will share goaltending duties with returnee Alex Nedeljkovic. Both goalies will get their fair share of work in the Detroit goal throughout the season.

Newly signed free agent Jussi Olkinuora played in the KHL last season and will start the year as the #1 goaltender in Grand Rapids (AHL). He will provide veteran leadership and is a solid #3 goalie in case of injury in Detroit.

Detroit also has Victor Brattstrom re-signed for this year, and #1 goaltending prospect Sebastian Cossa appears ready to turn professional this year. Detroit seems poised to have the deepest pool of goaltenders they have had recently.

Opening Night Goalies: Alex Nedeljkovic, Ville Husso

Opening Night Roster, Final Prediction

Forwards (12)




Defensemen (6)




Goalies (2)



Extras (3)








Detroit will fill their AHL team with a blend of prospects and NHL veterans. Many players below will see time in Detroit throughout the season.

Top Prospects and NHL Veterans Assigned to Grand Rapids (AHL)




















Final Thoughts

Injuries leading up to the first game will determine the opening night roster for the Red Wings. Before opening night, I will make updates as changes occur to the Red Wings roster. The opening night roster, extras, and players placed on the IR to start the season will see the Red Wings roster have nine new players added to the Red Wings organization. This team will be more competitive than last year. They should score more and give up fewer goals, translating into more wins. The team is getting closer to playoff contention and should be fun to watch compete throughout the season.

The Handlebar Man The Production Line Podcast

In this episode, we discuss the Red Wings finish to their four game roadtrip, winning in San Jose and Columbus and losing in the shootout to Anaheim. We dive deep into the games, breaking down Filip Hronek's hot start and what has been different this season. Seider and Copp finding their way, Bertuzzi and Walman return. And a look at the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. The Handlebar Man
  2. Ebbs and Flows
  3. In Ville We Trust
  4. Buffalo Wings IV
  5. The Redwoods

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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