Bring on the Red Wings’ 2022 Regular Season
With only two Detroit Red Wings preseason games remaining, I am here to give you three of my biggest takeaways so far. We can only learn so much from exhibition play, but the future of the Red Wings is looking bright. There is talent brewing in the pipeline, and it was satisfying watching the progress of the prospects and the players they signed in the offseason.
1. Dominik Kubalik Showing His Worth
Detroit signed left winger Kubalik in the offseason to a two-year, $5 million “prove-it” contract. In his rookie campaign with Chicago Kubalik tallied 30 goals and 16 assists, suggesting he can be a productive player in the right situation.
But the Blackhawks struggled the next two seasons, and Kubalik’s production also fell. Steve Yzerman locked down Kubalik coming off his rookie deal for what seems to be a steal of a contract. His offensive ability and goal scoring will be a bright spot for the Red Wings’ lower lines. And he has room to get even better. Playing alongside Filip Zadina could bring out the best for both players as they look to have rebound seasons.
2. Soderblom is Blooming for the Red Wings
Aside from perhaps Simon Edvinsson, no one had more hype heading into training camp than Elmer Soderblom. The 6’7 winger has shown tremendous stick-handling ability while also effectively using his big body to handle the physical aspect of the game.
The question has been will Elmer crack the roster opening night? I think he can compete at the NHL level right away and be a mismatch for teams across the league if he sees ice time with Michael Rasmussen. But I would prefer Soderblom get quality minutes in Grand Rapids and further develop his game before he cracks the lineup.
However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Elmer on opening night. His quality play has earned him a shot, and the Red Wings are battling some injuries to start the season.
3. Husso & Ned Will Compliment Each Other Nicely
Steve Yzerman made a splash in the offseason by trading a third-round pick for goaltender Ville Husso. The Wings then signed Husso to a three-year deal for $4.75 million a season. With the salary cap rising in the future, that’s a solid value.
Goaltending and defense were among the biggest problems for this team last year. Husso will be huge improvement for this goaltending duo over former backup Thomas Griess.
It should be noted that last year both goaltenders were left out to dry consistently. The defensive acquisitions made in the offseason should help take some weight off the goalies, but with the young roster the Red Wings will need consistency from both netminders.
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