August 32-in-32: Detroit Red Wings

Victor Nuno

2022-08-11

The 32-in-32 Series is an annual event here at DobberProspects! Every day in August we will be bringing you a complete breakdown of a team’s Draft, and insights into their off-season movements thus far. Following this up in September, we will dive into every team’s prospect depth charts with fantasy insights and implications for the
upcoming seasons. Check back often, because we plan on filling your hockey withdrawal needs all off-season long!

The 2021-22 season was the sixth in a row missing the playoffs for the Detroit Red Wings. The “Yzerplan” has been in effect for three years now and the fruits of the rebuild are starting to bear fruit. The team finished fifth in the Atlantic and was competitive for stretches of the season. At the beginning, there was even talk of potentially squeaking into the playoffs.

This offseason has already started to feel different than the previous ones under Steve Yzerman. He opened up the checkbook to both trade for and sign several players who will be in Detroit when the team hopes to be competitive again. Coming into this offseason, the only player the Red Wings had under contract beyond 2023-24 was Robby Fabbri. They now have three more players and several that should help with the transition, so what were the moves?

It started with a bang as the Red Wings acquired the rights to restricted free agent Ville Husso for the 2022 third-round pick from the St. Louis Blues and then signed him to a four-year, 4.75-million-dollar (cap hit). Husso was one of the best young goalies available who really proved himself this season. This move positions Husso to be the starter or 1A and Alex Nedeljkovic, who struggled a bit in his first season in Detroit, to be the 1B. Of course, Sebastian Cossa is the future in net, but he is most likely several years away and this way, they don’t have to rush him.

As free agency opened, the Red Wings handed out their longest contract to forward Andrew Copp, who had a breakout season between the Winnipeg Jets and New York Rangers. Copp got five years at 5.625-million-dollar (cap hit) making him the second highest paid player on the team behind Captain Dylan Larkin. The team also signed the Chicago Blackhawks castaway Dominik Kubalik at two years, 2.5-million-dollar (cap hit). Kubalik really struggled this season in Chicago and his point totals steadily declined the past two seasons after a great rookie campaign in 2019-20. The last forward they signed was veteran David Perron at two years, 4.75-million-dollar (cap hit). The Stanley Cup champion will bring leadership and experience to a relatively young team.

The Red Wings also bolstered their blue line, headlined by Ben Chiarot at four years, 4.75-million-dollar (cap hit). Chiarot leapfrogs Filip Hronek as the highest-paid defender and should be leaned upon to play heavy minutes and lighten the load for some of the younger defensemen. They also signed Olli Maatta for one season at 2.25-million-dollar (cap hit) who will likely round out either the middle or bottom pairing.

The Draft

The only trade was the one to acquire Husso, otherwise, they used all 10 of their picks.

Round One, 8th Overall – Marco Kasper, C

Completely on brand, the Red Wings use their first pick in 2022 on a player who played his draft season in the SHL. This marks the third consecutive season selecting a Swede with their first pick, taking Lucas Raymond, and Simon Edvinsson in the previous two. This time, like in 2019 with S