Red Wings Lineup Projection for 2023-24

The Hockey Writers

It’s September, which means the Detroit Red Wings return to action this month.

For the second summer in a row, general manager Steve Yzerman aggressively reshaped his roster. The Red Wings now have the depth and talent to make a serious bid for the playoffs.

Steve Yzerman Detroit Red Wings
Steve Yzerman brought in nine NHLers – how will they fit into the lineup? (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With so many new faces in Detroit, what will the lineup look like? Below is my projection for how things will shake out ahead of opening night. Keep in mind that lines and pairings will change throughout the season – just because someone is scratched here doesn’t preclude them from dressing the next game.

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Projected Lineup for the Red Wings

LW C RW

Lucas Raymond Dylan Larkin Alex DeBrincat

Michael Rasmussen Andrew Copp David Perron

Robby Fabbri J.T. Compher Jonatan Berggren

Christian Fischer Joe Veleno Daniel Sprong

Klim Kostin Austin Czarnik  
LD RD G

Jake Walman Moritz Seider Ville Husso

Shayne Gostisbehere Justin Holl James Reimer

Ben Chiarot Jeff Petry  

Olli Maatta    

Overall, this is a deeper team than what we’ve seen in years past. And Detroit’s offense stands to benefit from the added depth.

After a year-over-year decline offensively, Steve Yzerman brought in Alex DeBrincat, Daniel Sprong, and J.T. Compher to add some scoring touch up front. These additions—combined with negligible subtractions—will allow the Red Wings to roll four lines without having to sacrifice much on offense.

Alex DeBrincat of the Detroit Red Wings
Alex DeBrincat’s lethal shot and underrated playmaking ability will bolster Detroit’s top six. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

One key battle to watch is the final top-six forward slot. DeBrincat, Dylan Larkin, Lucas Raymond, Andrew Copp, and David Perron figure to be locks for the top two lines. But who gets the last spot? My top contender is Michael Rasmussen, who I have slotted in as the second line left wing. The hulking forward impressed during short stints on the wing and could be highly effective as the first man in on a top-six line. Compher and Robby Fabbri are other candidates.

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Defensively, there’s a logjam behind the Jake Walman-Moritz Seider top pairing. This isn’t a bad thing, though.

For one, it gives Simon Edvinsson time to ramp up in Grand Rapids after spending most of the summer rehabbing from shoulder surgery. Despite his top prospect status, there’s no need to rush him.

Simon Edvinsson Detroit Red Wings
Simon Edvinsson could still make the Red Wings if he has an impressive training camp. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

In addition, the remaining five defensemen—Ben Chiarot, Olli Maatta, Shayne Gostisbehere, Justin Holl, and Jeff Petry—give the Red Wings flexibility. No matter who is out of the lineup, Detroit will always have two defensemen who can play the left side (Chariot, Maatta, Gostisbehere, Petry) and two who can skate on the right side (Petry, Holl, Gostisbehere, Chiarot). And if the Red Wings opt to rotate defensemen every game, each of the five is looking at 64-68 games apiece, which is plenty.

It will be interesting, though, to see who gets the most second-pair minutes. Gostisbehere was brought in to replace Filip Hronek’s offense and Petry has played high-impact minutes for most of his career. 

Regardless, Detroit’s defense is stronger and deeper than last year’s team. 


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Red Wings Power Play

Next up, Detroit’s power play. Here’s how the two man advantage units could look entering the season.

Position PP1 PP2

Quarterback Moritz Seider Shayne Gostisbehere

Left Flank Alex DeBrincat Daniel Sprong

Right Flank Lucas Raymond Jonatan Berggren

Bumper Dylan Larkin Robby Fabbri

Net Front/Side of Net David Perron Michael Rasmussen

It’s fair to assume that the Red Wings will run the same power play alignment and strategy as they did last season. With that setup, DeBrincat would join PP1 as the trigger man on the left flank, with Raymond serving as the main facilitator.

As for PP2, Berggren would serve as the facilitator given his outstanding vision and playmaking abilities. In addition, the Red Wings could give Copp reps as the bumper given his above-average playmaking abilities. Petry could slot in as quarterback or left flank as well.

Red Wings Penalty Kill

Finally, here’s how the Red Wings could deploy their forwards and defensemen while shorthanded.

Position PK1 PK2 PK3

Forward 1 Andrew Copp Dylan Larkin Joe Veleno

Forward 2 J.T. Compher Michael Rasmussen Christian Fischer

Defense 1 Ben Chiarot Jake Walman  

Defense 2 Justin Holl Moritz Seider  

Expect the Red Wings to trot out Chiarot on PK1 – this is what he was signed to do. The same goes for Compher, who gives Detroit a sorely needed right-handed center.

With Compher in the fold, the Red Wings could pare back Larkin’s penalty kill time to keep him fresh. Compher, Copp, Larkin, Rasmussen, and Christian Fischer figure to be Detroit’s main penalty killers.

Final Word

In 2023-24, the Red Wings figure to have a deep lineup that’s an improvement over last year’s group. Scoring should be up, and there’s more flexibility with several players being able to play multiple roles throughout the lineup.

That’s how things stand right now. There’s a lot that can change before opening night – with injuries and prospects forcing their way onto the roster being realistic—if not likely—possibilities. One thing is certain, though – this is going to be an exciting Red Wings team to watch.

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