Red Wings Players Can Exceed ESPN Projections

The Hockey Writers

With ESPN releasing their yearly projections, fans are checking on their teams’ players and seeing what the “experts” are projecting for this season. Detroit Red Wings fans are no exception to this.

Red Wings Who Can Exceed Projections

Starting on the front end with captain Dylan Larkin, he is projected to finish this season with 81 points, including 33 goals and 48 assists. Each of these categories would lead to career highs for Larkin, which seems sensible due to the fact he will have a player the caliber of newly acquired Alex DeBrincat on the top line with him.

That leads to DeBrincat, who many believe will be able to have a bounce-back type of season with the Red Wings after having a somewhat down year last season. ESPN seems to be one of those who believe that, projecting him to improve from 27 goals, 39 assists and 66 points last season to 33 goals, 38 assists and 71 total points this season.

Related: Larkin and DeBrincat Could Be Detroit Red Wings’ Next Dynamic Duo

This projection pretty much goes hand-in-hand with Larkin due to them being on the same line together and could very easily be exceeded if the two are able to build chemistry with each other and whomever ends up being the third forward on the top line.

One projection that may not sit too well with Red Wings fans is that of Lucas Raymond, who is another player that fans are hoping has a bounce-back season. However, ESPN seems to believe that will not be the case as they have him only surpassing last season’s 45 points by one up to 46 this season.

Lucas Raymond Detroit Red Wings
Can Lucas Raymond bounce back in 2023-24 for the Detroit Red Wings? (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

This is yet another projection that should be able to be easily exceeded by Raymond if he is able to return to his rookie-season form and is put in position by head coach Derek Lalonde to do so line-wise. Lalonde has seemed to be very happy with Raymond’s work during the offseason and is fully expecting an improvement from last season as well.

One projection that can be seen as confusing is that of another newly acquired forward in Daniel Sprong. Coming off last season where he totaled 46 points in an average of 11:25 of ice time a game with the Seattle Kraken, ESPN projects Sprong to keep his point total the same this season.

Its a confusing projection due to the fact that they also have projected that he will get more ice time with the Red Wings at 13:30 per game. With this factor mixed in with the skill that the bottom-six of the lineup that the team possesses, Sprong should be able to exceed these projections if he plays the way he did last season.

On the back end of the ice and in the net, Moritz Seider, Jake Walman and Ville Husso are all projected to have solid seasons. Seider is projected to yet again play all 82 regular-season games and up his numbers by eight total points from 42 last season to 50 this season. The same has been projected for Walman point wise, making the jump from 18 points to 33 points.

Jake Walman Detroit Red Wings
Jake Walman, Detroit Red Wings (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

These two projections seem to be reasonable and obtainable by the Red Wings’ top-pairing defense thanks to a full training camp of working together this year and higher chemistry between the two than they had last season. Both players are expected to also play a factor on the power play again this season.

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In between the pipes, Husso is projected to have a bounce-back season and return to the goalie that general manager Steve Yzerman expected when he was acquired from the St. Louis Blues in 2022, while also becoming the bona fide number one starter for the team. While his win total is only projected to jump up by two this season from 26 last season, he his projected to improve on his save percentage (SV%) and goals-against average (GAA), jumping to a .900 SV% and a 2.96 GAA.

This projection is another one that seems to be sensible and could be exceeded if he is able to bounce back, mixed in with the fact that Yzerman has added talent and depth to the offensive side of the team that should be able to help lessen the load and workload Husso will be facing this season.

Each of these projections made by ESPN should be able to either be met or exceeded by the players mentioned and should make for a fun season for fans as well.

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