Red Wings Roster Has Seen a Complete Yzerman Overhaul

The Hockey Writers

Since returning to Detroit and taking over the reins as general manager (GM), Steve Yzerman has slowly and completely rebuilt the Detroit Red Wings roster and has been leaving his imprint on the organization on and off the ice.

How Yzerman Has Rebuilt the Red Wings

Going into the 2023-24 season, there is only one full-time player remaining from the opening night roster of the 2019-20 team and that is captain Dylan Larkin. Taro Hirose is also a player who has been on both teams but has not played a majority of his time in the NHL. Yzerman has been able to slowly rebuild the Red Wings roster throughout the five offseasons he has spent as GM through a mix of trades, draft picks, and free agents.

Dylan Larkin Andrew Copp Detroit Red Wings
Dylan Larkin and Andrew Copp celebrate a goal for the Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Through the trade market, the Red Wings have seen a total of 18 players who were regulars in their lineup and one prospect depart Detroit since 2019. In return, they have added 14 players who have been regulars or are expected to be regulars in the everyday lineup for the team. The most notable trade came this offseason when Yzerman made a trade for forward Alex DeBrincat from the Ottawa Senators.

Related: Grading Steve Yzerman’s Tenure as Red Wings GM

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Yzerman has also used the draft to work the trade market, having acquired 31 draft picks and trading away a total of 19 picks in the process as well. Of the 31 draft picks acquired, 20 of them have been used by the Red Wings, most notably on players like Sebastian Cossa and Axel Sandin Pellikka.

Sticking with the draft, the Red Wings have made 51 total picks since the 2019 Draft took place. As of now, five of these draft picks have made their NHL debuts, with two being full-time NHL players the past two seasons in Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond. The hope is that there will be a few more of these draft picks making their way to Detroit and impacting the lineup in the next couple of seasons.

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In the free agent market, Yzerman has added players that have been mainly on short-term deals and have come and gone from the Red Wings organization but has been able to sign a total of 23 of them while manning the post as GM.

2019-20 Opening Night Roster (Departure) 2023-24 Project Opening Night Roster (Arrival)

#8 Justin Abdelkader- 2020 contract buyout #52 Jonatan Berggren- 2018 2nd round pick

#72 Andreas Athanasiou- 2020 trade to Edmonton #8 Ben Chiarot- 2022 free agent

#45 Jonathan Bernier- 2021 trade to Carolina #37 JT Compher- 2023 free agent

#59 Tyler Bertuzzi- 2023 trade to Boston #18 Andrew Copp- 2022 free agent

#74 Madison Bowey- 2020 free agent, Chicago #93 Alex DeBrincat- 2023 trade with Ottawa

#21 Dennis Cholowksi- Expansion draft, Seattle (2021) #14 Robby Fabbri- 2019 trade with St. Louis

#83 Trevor Daley- 2020 retirement #36 Christian Fischer- 2023 free agent

#61 Jacob De la Rose- 2019 trade to St. Louis #41 Shayne Gostisbehere- 2023 free agent

#65 Danny DeKeyser- 2022 free agent, Vancouver (PTO) #3 Justin Holl- 2023 free agent

#70 Christoffer Ehn- 2020 free agent, SHL #35 Ville Husso- 2022 trade with St. Louis

#73 Adam Erne- 2023 free agent, Unsigned #24 Klim Kostin- 2023 trade with Edmonton

#52 Jonathan Ericsson- 2020 free agent #71 Dylan Larkin- 2014 draft pick

#51 Valtteri Filppula- 2021 free agent (National League) #22 Matt Luff- 2022 free agent

#41 Luke Glendening- 2021 free agent, Dallas #2 Oli Maata- 2022 free agent

#25 Mike Green- 2020 trade to Edmonton #57 David Perron- 2022 free agent

#43 Darren Helm- 2021 free agent, Colorado #46 Jeff Petry- 2023 trade with Montreal

#67 Taro Hirose- Current Grand Rapids Griffin #27 Michael Rasmussen- 2017 draft pick

#35 Jimmy Howard- 2021 retirement #23 Lucas Raymond- 2020 draft pick

#17 Filip Hronek- 2023 trade to Vancouver #47 James Reimer- 2023 free agent

#71 Dylan Larkin- Current Red Wings captain #53 Moritz Seider- 2019 draft pick

#39 Anthony Mantha- 2021 trade to Washington #88 Daniel Sprong- 2023 free agent

#22 Patrick Nemeth- 2021 trade to Colorado #90 Joe Veleno- 2018 draft pick

#81 Frans Nielsen- 2021 contract buyout #96 Jake Walman- 2022 trade with St. Louis
Comparing the 2019-20 opening night roster to the projected 2023-24 opening night roster

Looking at the two rosters, they are vastly different. Yzerman has spent his time in Detroit so far trying to figure out how to get the team back to where he and the organization want: the playoffs and a contender for the Stanley Cup. He has been able to add young talent with a good mix of veteran leadership and experience along with a few goalscorers as well.

This season’s team has a chance to at least get them to the playoffs. Mixed in with the prospects they have in their system, and the group of players Yzerman has brought in, the team could soon be making waves into the playoffs and eventually a deep run towards a Stanley Cup.

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