Detroit Red Wings Player Grades: The Final Four Report Cards

Octopus Thrower

The final bunch of Detroit Red Wings players grades ends with two forwards, a defenseman, and a goalie. Here’s how they grade out:

Frans Nielsen

2021 Statline
GP: 29
G: 1
P: 6
CF%: 44.7

Preseason Projections: 

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2021 Season in a Nutshell

Statiscally, Nielsen was projecting better than his paltry 9 point (3-6) season last year. But the writing may be on the wall for the veteran forward. It’s no secret that the $5.25 million AAV deal on the books has never seen its value met. The last two seasons have been a sobering example of that and it’s led to speculation that a buyout might be on the horizon. Nielsen was waived and a healthy scratch numerous times, giving weight to the thought that it may be his final season with the team.

Considered a veteran presence on the team, having a letter on the sweater doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll stick–as seen with Justin Abdelkader.

They Said it:

“Frans has done a great job of controlling what he can control, and that’s his effort, his attitude and his play on a daily basis.” Jeff Blashill via the Detroit News

Final Grade: D

I’m not going to bag on Nielsen–he’s given everything that he can for the organization and been a good soldier during what has been an awful stretch for the organization. Nielsen signed probably thinking this team would be in the playoffs at least once–it never happened.

But the output never matched the contract, this year or through the duration. While Detroit won’t need the cap space via a buyout, it would provide a roster spot for a player who could contribute more on the scoresheet.

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