Detroit Red Wings’ 2023-24 Team Awards

The Hockey Writers

With the regular season and Detroit Red Wings season itself reaching its end (a few games left in the regular season for other teams), it was a heartbreaking end for Red Wing fans and the team. But with that being said, there were plenty of bright spots and some major highlights with the play this season. The Red Wings saw a number of newcomers, standouts, and surprises, so who takes home the end-of-the-season awards for the team?

Most Valuable Player – Dylan Larkin

The man who seemingly drove the bus this season for the Red Wings (while healthy) was the captain himself, Dylan Larkin. When Larkin was on the ice, he brought the type of energy and leadership that is commonly seen by a team’s captain. Whether it was making a strong play defensively on a back check, a big-time penalty kill, or scoring some of the team’s biggest goals this season (five game-winning goals), he was their most valuable player when in the lineup.

This was evidently clear when Larkin went down to injury for a span of eight games at the beginning of March, and the team seemed to struggle and had the life somewhat sucked out of it. But with 71 in the lineup, the entire roster always seemingly had another boost to itself, and he helped push the team to another level throughout the season.

Honorable Mention: Lucas Raymond

Best Newcomer – Patrick Kane

When Steve Yzerman brought in the 35-year-old forward, many did not know what to expect after he underwent a major hip surgery that only a few NHL players have had (and that they have not found success afterward). But the man simply known as “Showtime” was every bit of that nickname for the Red Wings this season. It did not take very long for Patrick Kane to get himself acquainted and rolling in a winged wheel jersey and find the chemistry between himself and former Chicago Blackhawk teammate, Alex DeBrincat.

In the 50 games that Kane played this season, he averaged just under a point per game (47 points), including a handful of big-time goals for the team. With him in the lineup, there was added energy to the lineup and in Little Caesars Arena itself, with the fans buzzing to see one of, if not the greatest American-born NHL player play.

There are hopes amongst the fan base that Kane and the organization link back up for another contract, as he is a pending free agent this offseason. Either way, he gave the fans some excitement and something to remember in the short time that he was in a Red Wings jersey this season if he does not return.

Honorable mention: Alex Lyon, JT Compher

Best Defenseman – Moritz Seider

This award seems to be the easiest one to give out, thanks in large part to the Red Wings’ defensive play being their Achilles heel throughout the season once again. Moritz Seider was the most consistent and best defenseman for the team this season and once again proved his reliability, playing in all 82 games. While not leading the team in points from a defenseman this season (Shayne Gostisbehere did with 56 points), he did find himself making some big plays in the offensive zone, whether it was keeping the puck in the zone and furthering a chance for the rest of the team or his smooth passing or puck work being on display.

Related: Projecting Moritz Seider’s New Red Wings Contract

While the metrics may not have shown it at times, Seider was solid once again defensively. Going against the opponent’s top line and best players night in and night out is never an easy task for any defenseman. Still, he did it more than admirably this season once again and further proved that he is going to be worth whatever contract he gets this offseason from Yzerman (he is a pending restricted free agent). He also showed a strong willingness to put his body on the line while playing physically and getting in shooting lanes, tallying 200-plus blocked shots and hits each on the season. The future looks bright for the Red Wings defensive grouping with Seider, Simon Edvinsson and some of the other prospects that the Red Wings have in their system (it will get better fans).

Best Forward/Most Improved – Lucas Raymond

While I gave Larkin the nod for the team MVP award, Lucas Raymond proved throughout the season that last season was a fluke of a down year and bounced back in a big way. He, like Seider, is a pending restricted free agent this offseason, and his play this season will certainly earn him a hefty pay raise from the organization.

Much like Larkin, Raymond scored some of the team’s biggest goals throughout the season and played lights out offensively. With Larkin being out for the eight games he was injured, Raymond took over the reins as the engine that drove the bus and took his game to another level to try and keep the team afloat with the captain on the shelf.

After the down season he had last year, Raymond came into this season bulked up and looking to return to his rookie season form. He did just that and earned the praises of many of his teammates and coaches throughout the season.

With his bounce-back this season, Raymond has garnered a ton of attention from fans and people around the hockey world while setting career highs in all three offensive categories (31 goals, 41 assists, 72 points). He is pushing the envelope of being a possible top-tier goal scorer for the Red Wings, adding another layer of excitement for the team’s future.

Honorable mention for Most Improved: Joe Veleno, Michael Rasmussen

Honorable mention for Best Forward: Dylan Larkin

Biggest Surprise – Alex Lyon

When Yzerman brought in two goalies last offseason, James Reimer and Alex Lyon, the plan seemed to be to have the two battle it out for the backup spot behind Ville Husso. Reimer served as the primary backup until the Red Wings made their trip to Sweden and Husso was away from the team. Lyon earned his first start and seemingly did not look back.

Alex Lyon Detroit Red Wings
Alex Lyon, Detroit Red Wings (Evan Sabourin / The Hockey Writers)

Husso’s injury during the season helped open the door for Lyon, but his play made it clear that he was not going to give up the reins as the team’s number-one goaltender for the season. He played in 44 games (almost tripling his previous most in a single season) and was rock solid while playing nonstop. While he did hit a rough patch in the second half of the season, thanks to a mix of possibly being overplayed and the defense not helping him out enough, he proved to be the biggest and best surprise for the team and helped keep them in the race for a playoff spot.

Honorable mention: Patrick Kane

Disappointing End to the Season, But Plenty of Bright Spots

While the season may have ended in a disappointing way for the Red Wings, there were plenty of areas that were bright spots and also gave hope and reason to be excited going into the offseason and the 2024-25 season as well. The players mentioned above had much to do with that and should be a big part of the team’s success next season.

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