This Detroit Red Wings team has had some ups and some downs this season. However when your team is 8th in the Central Division and 8-17-4 overall, the ups are a lot more difficult to find. For most of us, all we want to see is the youth group develop and be competitive. Names like Zadina, Hronek, Svechnikov, are players I have started to pay extra attention to. Development of these core guys will only better the chances of the rebuild succeeding. Today we dive into the seasons these three players are having and will they make a long term impact within the organization.
Let’s start with the obvious and quickly becoming one of my favorite young players on the team, Filip Zadina. Zadina has had a strong last five games getting 5 points, two of which on the powerplay. He is currently tied for fourth on the team in points with eleven. “Z” has had some youth mistakes to go along with some excellent offensive play. Not to mention he also has a +2 plus/minus, which may not seem great, but when your team has a -33 goal differential you take it. The biggest thing to remember with Zadina is he is only 21 years old, his ice time continues to grow just as much as his confidence. I will say he is now the new player, I yell “Shoot the Puck!” at the most on the team. “Z” has a ton of talent and with more experience he will learn to capitalize on a fantastic shot that made him a high 1st round draft pick.
Well let’s just start with this note, When was the last time the leading scorer on a team, 29 games into the season, was a Defenseman who has not scored a single goal this year. Well let me introduce you to Filip Hronek. The D-man leads the team with 15 assists, which in turn leads the Red Wings in points. Now the +/- is not anything to get excited about, however he leads the team in average time on ice by about three minutes. He is also a major part of the special teams again leading the team with five power play points. He is the future of the blue line and once the likes of Moritz Seider arrive we could start to see a real positive transition from the Red Wings defensively.
He’s on the team, he’s in Grand Rapids, he’s on the taxi squad, repeat, if that does not give away who i am talking about i don’t know what will. Evgeny Svechnikov was finally able to have some playing time after coming back from a knee injury that has cost him the better of two seasons. In his short time with the Red Wings he was able to tally four points in four games, two of which on the powerplay. The more ice time the better for Evgeny, as General Manager Steve Yzerman will need to make a decision on whether or not he stays for the remainder of the rebuild. He will become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. In my opinion he stays with the Wings and signs a longer extension. Cap space will become available at the end of the season with the most likely departures of Helm and Staal. I just wish they could find a way to get him in the lineup more often, but I understand it’s tough to have over seven million in cap space on the taxi squad, between Nielson and Filppula alone.