Grading the Red Wings’ Season After 60 Games

The Hockey Writers

At the 60-game mark of the regular season, the Detroit Red Wings find themselves entrenched in the fight for a playoff spot to end their playoff drought. Throughout the season, there have been several surprises and disappointments from the team and individuals as well. Being three-quarters of the way through the season, how does the roster grade out?

*All stats are as of March 1*

High Honors

JT Compher

2023-24 stats: 55 GP- 15 Goals, 21 assists, 36 points, plus-five

JT Compher has been one of the Red Wings’ most consistent and reliable players throughout the season. While his offensive game has been solid for the team, his all-around game has come up big when it has also been needed. He has come up with big faceoff wins at clutch moments while being one of the team’s best penalty-kill specialists. The contract that general manager Steve Yzerman signed him to last offseason was scrutinized, but Compher has shown that he has been worth every penny of that contract so far.

Grade: A


Patrick Kane

2023-24 stats: 29 GP- 13 goals, 18 assists, 31 points, minus-one

Coming off a hip surgery that kept him out of action for the start of the 2023-24 season, Yzerman brought Patrick Kane in with hopes that he could show glimpses of the player that he once was while also re-uniting him with former Chicago Blackhawks teammate Alex DeBrincat. To this point, Kane has far exceeded the expectations that the organization probably had for him when they signed him.

Patrick Kane Detroit Red Wings
Patrick Kane has lived up to his “Showtime” nickname so far as a Red Wing. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He has looked every bit of the player he was before his surgery, showcasing his playmaking ability along with his stickhandling and all-around offensive game. He has helped push the Red Wings’ powerplay to another level while creating a solid trio with DeBrincat and Dylan Larkin. With Kane getting top-line minutes, Lucas Raymond has slid to the second line and settled into that role quite nicely so far.

Grade: A


Dylan Larkin

2023-24 stats: 54 GP- 26 goals, 28 assists, 54 points, minus-three

The captain of the Red Wings came into this season with some added expectations after signing an eight-year extension in April 2023, and so far, Larkin has lived up to those expectations while leading the way for the team. For the Red Wings, Larkin has looked strong on both ends of the ice. His defensive game has been strong again, as he has shown a willingness to backcheck hard on rushes, leading to turnovers and rushes for the Red Wings. His offensive game has also been spot-on throughout the season, which has been helped out by the fact that he has been paired up with Kane and DeBrincat for the last couple of months. He currently is tied with DeBrincat in powerplay goals with ten as he has taken over the “bumper” spot on the top unit and has succeeded at a high level.

Grade: A


Alex Lyon

2023-24 stats: 29 GP (28 starts)- 18-9-2 record, .912 save percentage (SV%), 2.74 goals-against average (GAA), two shutouts

Very possibly the biggest and most significant surprise for the Red Wings this season has been the play of offseason acquisition Alex Lyon. After not playing much for the first part of the season, Lyon earned some playing time with Ville Husso being away from the team, and he never looked back.

The Hockey Writers Substack banner Detroit Red Wings

He has become one of the league’s most consistent goaltenders this season and has helped bring some energy to the team and its fans. With Husso being out with an injury once again, Lyon will be heavily relied upon going forward, and his strong play will need to continue if the Red Wings wish to end their playoff drought.

Grade: A


Lucas Raymond

2023-24 stats: 60 GP- 17 goals, 34 assists, 51 points, minus-11

Entering the season, Raymond was looking to bounce back from a sophomore-slumped season, and he has done just that so far. As mentioned, with Kane taking over the top-line minutes, Raymond has filled in the top spot on the team’s second line and has succeeded at a high level for the Red Wings in that role. With what seems to be an added level of confidence in his game, he has produced at a good pace and has looked like the player who had a strong rookie season two seasons ago.

Lucas Raymond Detroit Red Wings
Lucas Raymond has had a strong bounce-back season for the Red Wings. (Evan Sabourin / The Hockey Writers)

Raymond has also shown more willingness to get into the dirty areas of the ice and throw his body around after showing up to training camp this season with some added weight and muscle to his body.

Grade: A


Daniel Sprong

2023-24 stats: 60 GP- 16 goals, 23 assists, 39 points, plus-one

Daniel Sprong has easily turned himself into one of the league’s most underrated players this season, considering the contract he signed with the Red Wings last offseason. He has been able to take advantage of the ice time that he has been given and turn it into a season that could very easily end with him breaking the 20-goal and 50-point mark. But it has not been just his offensive game that has stuck out for the team this season, as he has become one of the team’s “energizer” players while playing in the bottom six of the forward grouping this season. He has been a pest on the forecheck, creating several chances for his linemates while allowing the top lines some rest when needed.

Grade: A


Honors

Ben Chiarot

2023-24 stats: 55 GP- Four goals, 11 assists, 15 points, plus-two

After a season that was one to forget last season for Ben Chiarot, he has had a solid bounce back this year for the most part. There are still times when he finds himself either in no-man’s land or in the wrong position in the defensive zone. But overall, he has had a good season for the Red Wings on the second defensive pairing. His offensive game has looked solid, as he has shown a willingness to jump into the rush and play in the offensive zone quite a bit lately. His continued solid play will help dictate what happens with the Red Wings and their playoff chances at the end of the regular season.

Grade: B


Andrew Copp

2023-24 stats: 59 GP- 10 goals, 16 assists, 26 points, plus-five

After a disappointing first season with the Red Wings, Andrew Copp has bounced back nicely this year and has been healthier than previous seasons (he’s only missed one game so far). While the offensive numbers may not be where many would have hoped they would be due to the contract he was given, Copp has created a strong pairing with Compher on the penalty kill and has been yet another one of the Red Wings’ energizer type players with his strong play this season.

Grade: B


Alex DeBrincat

2023-24 stats: 60 GP- 23 goals, 30 assists, 53 points, plus-three

While the stats that DeBrincat has put up this season could warrant “high honors” in this report card for the team, he hit a slow point in the middle of the season after getting off to a torrid start as a Red Wing. He has been one of the team’s best goal-scorers on the season (tied with Larkin in powerplay goals) and is another player who has benefited from the arrival of Kane. The connection between the two has been on display since Kane put on a winged wheel jersey.

Related: Red Wings Add Much More than Goals with DeBrincat Trade

When acquired by Yzerman and the Red Wings, DeBrincat had not been known as a player who was necessarily strong defensively, but he has been able to quiet some of those doubters and naysayers with his play this season. He has also shown a willingness to mix it up when needed, getting involved in a couple of fights this season, which has helped bring some needed energy to the rest of the team. If he can continue playing consistently, there’s no reason he will not earn himself an “A” grade at season’s end.

Grade: A-


Robby Fabbri

2023-24 stats: 46 GP- 15 goals, ten assists, 25 points, minus-six

Robby Fabbri has battled the injury bug for yet another season. His offensive game has been on track throughout the season, mainly in spurts. With all of Yzerman’s offseason moves and acquisitions, he has found himself in a good spot, thanks to the depth of the forward group. If he can play more consistently and stay healthy the rest of the season, it will go a long way for the Red Wings and himself.

Grade: B


Christian Fischer

2023-24 stats: 57 GP- Two goals, 12 assists, 14 points, plus-ten

When Yzerman brought Christian Fischer in on a one-year deal, he was looking to add to the depth of the forward group while bringing in some grit that was much needed. Fischer has filled the “gritty” player role in a bottom six role while also bringing some energy to the lineup.

Christian Fischer Detroit Red Wings
Christian Fischer has added much-needed grit to the Red Wings lineup this season. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He has seemingly been one of the players on the team who has brought some veteran leadership and energy to the bench throughout the season. If he can chip in more offensively, Fischer could find himself earning some higher honors at season’s end.

Grade: B+


Shayne Gostisbehere

2023-24 stats: 59 GP- Nine goals, 30 assists, 39 points, minus-14

Another player brought in on a one-year deal last offseason, Shayne Gostisbehere, has done what many expected he would do for the Red Wings offensively. He has been strong on the man advantage (20 powerplay assists) and five-on-five play. But he has had a problem defensively during the first 60 games of the season. If he can clean up his play in his own end, on top of trying to force plays from the offensive blue line at times, Gostisbehere could put Yzerman in a tough spot at the end of the season. There is also a slight chance he will get traded by the deadline.

Grade: B+


Olli Maatta

2023-24 stats: 52 GP- Four goals, 11 assists, 15 points, plus-18

After starting the season as the odd man out in the defensive group, Olli Maatta has been entrenched in the lineup for all but eight games. He has not been setting the world on fire offensively but has come up with some timely offensive plays to help the team out big-time. He has been strong in his zone, where his defensive game has been solid for most of the season.

Grade: B


David Perron

2023-24 stats: 54 GP- 12 goals, 19 assists, 31 points, minus-ten

David Perron continues to be a veteran leader in the locker room for the Red Wings this season while also being able to produce at a solid level. He has found himself sliding up and down the lineup with head coach Derek Lalonde trying to find the right mix of guys, but he has been a consistent player offensively, in five-on-five play and on the powerplay. But where he has slipped up this season at times has been defensively. For a player who will be a free agent at the end of the season, he has played well enough to earn himself either an extension from the Red Wings or another suitor in the offseason.

Grade: B+


Michael Rasmussen

2023-24 stats: 60 GP- 12 goals, 14 assists, 26 points, plus-14

While he has not necessarily lived up to the first-round pick expectations he had when being drafted in 2017, Michael Rasmussen has been able to carve out a vital role in the middle-to-bottom six of the Red Wings lineup and was recently rewarded with a four-year extension. The big-bodied forward has used his size to his advantage even more this season and has been stronger offensively for the Red Wings.

Grade: A-


James Reimer

2023-24 stats: 16 GP (13 starts)- 6-6-2 record, .907 SV%, 2.91 GAA, two shutouts

Brought in to compete with Lyon for the backup goaltender spot behind Husso, James Reimer has played only three games less than Husso has this season. He started on a high note with the Red Wings, posting a shutout in his first start, but has seen a roller-coaster season ensue. There have been times when he has looked solid, and then there are other times when fans sit and wonder what exactly he is doing in the net.

James Reimer Detroit Red Wings
James Reimer, Detroit Red Wings (Evan Sabourin / The Hockey Writers)

Either way, he has been solid enough for the Red Wings as a backup, while Lyon has carried the workload for the most part. They may rely on him a bit more down the stretch so that Lyon is not overworked.

Grade: B


Moritz Seider

2023-24 stats: 60 GP- Seven goals, 25 assists, 32 points, minus-two

After winning the Calder Trophy for the league’s best rookie two seasons ago, there have been sky-high expectations placed upon Moritz Seider. While he started a little rough this season, he has gotten his entire game back to where it was when he won the Calder. While being on the ice against the opponent’s top forward lines, he has shut them down quite well. His offensive game has been able to get going as of late as well, showing off a strong shot and poise from the blue line for the Red Wings. He has been a staple on the powerplay for the team this season, adding 16 points on the man advantage so far. With his strong play, Seider should be playing himself into a solid contract extension this offseason from Yzerman.

Grade: A-


Joe Veleno

2023-24 stats: 58 GP- 11 goals, 15 assists, 26 points, minus-12

Much like Rasmussen, Joe Veleno has not lived up to the hype and expectations of being a first-round pick but has worked hard enough to build a solid role in the bottom six of the lineup this season. His offensive game has been on display, at times, throughout the season, as he has shown a strong playmaking ability and shot when given the time and space.

Veleno has also become one of the players who has been relied upon to bring some energy to the rest of the team in his role and has done a solid job of doing so. Entering a contract year, a strong finish to the season may be enough to earn another extension from the team after what has been considered a make-or-break season.

Grade: B+


Jake Walman

2023-24 stats: 54 GP- 11 goals, nine assists, 20 points, plus-seven

Being paired up with Seider on the top defensive pairing again this season, Jake Walman finds himself opposing the other team’s top players on most nights. His game has been the opposite of Seider’s this season, as his defensive game has not been the strongest at times, but his offensive game has looked very solid at times. As of late, the offensive game has gone quiet for Walman compared to earlier on, but will likely be relied upon in the last 20-plus games of the regular season.

Grade: B+


Needs Improvement

Justin Holl

2023-24 stats: 35 GP- Zero goals, five assists, five points, plus-seven

After being one of the biggest contracts Yzerman gave out last offseason, Justin Holl has been unable to live up to that pact. He and Olli Maatta have swapped spots as the odd man out of the lineup, and he has not played in a game since Jan.31. There have been murmurs that Yzerman could be looking to find a taker for Holl before the trade deadline as well.

Grade: D


Ville Husso

2023-24 stats: 19 GP (18 starts)- 9-5-2 record, .892 SV%, 3.55 GAA

Entering the season, there were high hopes that a healthy Husso would lead to more consistency between the pipes for the Red Wings, but that “healthy” part has not been the case. Husso has twice fought lower-body injuries and is currently out once again. When healthy, Husso played streaky in net for the team and did not look like the goalie that Yzerman and the team had expected him to be.

Ville Husso Detroit Red Wings
Ville Husso, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

There have been times when he has looked rock solid and others when he has struggled mightily. Luckily for the team, Lyon has been the pleasant surprise he has this season and has been able to take over for Husso.

Grade: C


Klim Kostin

2023-24 stats: 32 GP- Three goals, one assist, four points, minus-one

After a solid season with the Edmonton Oilers, Klim Kostin was brought in by the Red Wings in a draft-day trade with hopes he would be able to translate his good offensive game and grittiness into a role with the team. But between the mix of battling the injury bug and not being able to play at a high enough level, he has not been the success that Yzerman had hoped he would be.

Grade: C-


Jeff Petry

2023-24 stats: 51 GP- Two goals, 16 assists, 18 points, plus-four

In a surprising move by many in the offseason that saw Jeff Petry come to the Red Wings, he has not become a fan-favorite among the Red Wings faithful. While he has shown some flashes of decent offensive play, he has struggled defensively for the most part.

Grade: C-


Exciting Finish Ahead for the Red Wings

The first 60 games of the regular season saw plenty of exciting moments, but the real excitement could be ahead of the team and its fans. If they can continue the way they have played for most of the season, they could find themselves in the playoffs again.

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