Red Wings: Top Three Breakout Candidates for 2022-23

The Detroit Red Wings have a plethora of young players in the pipeline. With several new players signed to free agent contracts, many of them will spend most of the upcoming season in development leagues, waiting for their turns for a spot on the Red Wings NHL roster. Some young players will once again make the opening night roster. These young players must start to contribute in a big way if the Red Wings are going to make a run at the playoffs.

Here is a look into the three players who could help the Red Wings towards a playoff run this year.

Filip Zadina

Fresh off a new three-year contract extension, no young player on the Red Wings roster needs a big year more than Filip Zadina. He is entering his 5th year in Detroit, and so far, the jury is still out as to what kind of player was drafted 6th overall in the 2018 draft. Zadina will be paid $1.825M each of his next three years.

So far, Zadina has played 160 NHL games and scored only 25 goals and 61 points. To be fair to Zadina, out of all the players drafted in 2018, he is 9th in scoring, including 7th in goals scored.

With a new coach and contract, now is the time for Zadina to score the way he was expected to achieve when he was drafted. Zadina has the tools, and playing on a line with Pius Suter and Dominik Kubalik should give him the opportunities to fill the net for the Red Wings.

Michael Rasmussen

Michael Rasmussen may have been the most improved player on the Red Wings for two consecutive seasons. Last year, Rasmussen scored career highs in goals (15), assists (12), and points (27). This improvement needs to continue and will no doubt help the Red Wings get closer to the playoffs.

Rasmussen will enter the second year of his three-year contract with Detroit. He will have a cap hit of $1.46M for the next two years and then be an RFA for the last time. Rasmussen might start the season playing left wing on the 4th line with Joe Veleno and Oskar Sundqvist. He will have to play well for the new coaching staff to move into middle-six.

Rasmussen is an integral part of Detroit’s future. Any success Detroit has this year may be attributed to improvement once again from Michael Rasmussen.

Joe Veleno

Joe Veleno will enter this season as a full-time NHL player for the first time. A former 1st round selection from the 2018 draft, Veleno needs to bring his offensive game to Detroit this season. Veleno has a lot to prove after only scoring 15 points in 66 games as a rookie last year.

He plays a 200ft game now, but with only nine goals and 16 points in 71 career games, the 22-year-old from Montreal looks ready to make a substantial offensive improvement in his game this year.

A big year from the fourth line will go a long way in helping Detroit move up in the standings and push for a playoff spot in the spring of 2023. Veleno will likely start the year playing with Michael Rasmussen and Oskar Sundqvist. With numerous forwards ready to become UFAs after the season, Veleno and Rasmussen might find themselves in increased roles by the trade deadline.

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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