The Detroit Red Wings missed the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, but it was an improvement over the disastrous season from one year ago. Five of the greatest moments from 2021 show how encouraging the franchise’s future is as it enters the long summer before training camp.
No. 5: Seider’s SHL Honor
Moritz Seider on Tuesday was named SHL defenseman of the year. The former first-round draft pick scored seven goals and added 21 assists in 41 regular-season games for Rogle. In 13 playoff games, Seider collected one goal and added four assists. The SHL honor indicates that Seider is ready for his next challenge of becoming a regular in the Wings lineup next season.
No. 4: Greiss’ Back-to-Back Excellence
Thomas Greiss started the season slowly as he didn’t win a game until his 10th start and didn’t earn his second win until game No. 18. The second half of the season was the complete opposite. Greiss showed poise and confidence and between the two games April 27 against Columbus and May 1 against Tampa Bay, Greiss made 66 saves and earned back-to-back shutouts. Greiss was also named the NHL’s First Star of the Week.
No. 3: Ryan’s Strong Start
Bobby Ryan had a lot to prove to the Red Wings after signing a one-year contract last offseason. He didn’t wait long to prove that General Manager Steve Yzerman made the right decision, scoring four goals in his first three games as a Wing, becoming the first player in team history to accomplish the feat.
No. 2: Smith’s Gordie Howe Hat Trick
In a game on Feb. 7 against Florida, Givani Smith recorded his first Gordie Howe hat trick at the NHL level. Smith scored one goal, assisted on another and got into a fight. This effort will make Yzerman’s decision difficult when coming up with his protected list for the Seattle expansion draft in July.
No. 1: Vrana’s 4-Goal Eruption
Jakub Vrana is another player who made Yzerman look like a genius when it comes to making trades. On April 22, Vrana scored four goals against Dallas in the Wings’ 7-3 victory. Overall, Vrana scored eight goals in 11 games after his acquisition from Washington in the Anthony Mantha trade.
Final Red Wings Thoughts
The 2021 version of the Red Wings was an improvement over 2019-20. With a deep prospect pool and another plethora of draft picks this summer, the future is bright in Hockeytown.