Monday, August 25, 2014

2015 Pool Projections: Detroit

Could the 2014 season have been any worse for the Detroit Red Wings?  I believe that asking this question before you look at the final tallies for the Red Wings is important, especially since your projections would be based on last year's numbers.

The Red Wings are going to be that team that some people forget about in picking their teams and it is by accident, mainly.  There are those guys at the draft that go by last year's numbers and have at it.  These guys will miss out on Detroit players, because they didn't do their own projections.  Do be sure to do your homework and look at those injured players that Detroit had and pick them accordingly.

The 2015 season should be a bounce back year for Detroit, given that key players should be healthy again, the new players that emerged in the injured player's steads will get better players to play with and things should just improve all around.  The Red Wings didn't really shop in the off-season, because they know what they have in store and it would be silly to count them out this year.

Forwards 14/15 Proj Cap Hit Defense 14/15 Proj Cap Hit Goaltenders 14/15 Proj Cap Hit
Pavel Datsyuk 80 7.500 Niklas Kronwall 55 4.750 Jimmy Howard 50 5.292
Henrik Zetterberg 80 6.083 Jonathan Ericsson 25 4.250 Jonas Gustavsson 20 1.850
Gustav Nyquist 65 0.950 Brendan Smith 25 1.263
Johan Franzen 55 3.955 Jakub Kindl 20 2.400
Tomas Tatar 50 2.750 Kyle Quincey 10 4.250
Tomas Jurco 35 0.709 Brian Lashoff 5 0.725
Stephen Weiss 25 4.900
Darren Helm 25 2.125
Justin Abdelkader 25 1.800
Joakim Andersson 20 0.733
Drew Miller 10 1.350
Luke Glendening 10 0.628
Dan Cleary 5 1.500
TOTAL 62.779
Riley Sheahan 35 0.950 Xavier Ouellet 5 0.670 Petr Mrazek 10 0.595
Anthony Mantha 30 0.894
Andy Miele 5 0.600
Kevin Porter 5 0.600

First Round Picks

The Red Wings are still rich in talent and coaching, which should provide poolies with three quality options for first round picks in this year's hockey pool draft.  Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, who each had really hard 2014 seasons with injury, should be back to their point-per-game pace and with all things being equal and a full season potentially under their belts, I could see them back as viable first round picks.  If those two are back to their scoring form, also look for Jimmy Howard to win more games, assuming he keeps his number one job.

Most Intriguing or Breakout Player

I may not be blowing the doors off with this selection here, but Gustav Nyquist is going to be a key player for the Red Wings and your projection of his season could be the difference from making it into the money or possibly picking him too high and not getting enough in return for him.  I have Nyquist in at 65 points, where I think he will be a quality trigger man for the Red Wings, but only playing a half of a season and some playoffs may have given some of the opposition enough tape to help curb some of his torrid scoring.  I won't say he'll be down a lot, but I don't think he'll be as hot as he was last season.

Other Pool Worthy Forwards

Past the three forwards already mentioned, the Red Wings are seemingly getting rather thin on scoring.  Johan Franzen should still be considered to be in the mix for a hockey pool spot, but 55 points may seem like a bit of a stretch, given that he does get hurt rather often.  Tomas Tatar is finally coming into his own and should have a decent year, likely finding some second line minutes.  After that, there is a little bit of concern about their depth, because as much as they are hard workers, they haven't shown much consistent scoring prowess.  If the Wings show a bit of spark in the preseason games, I may be inclined to increase their projections.

Other Pool Worthy Defense

The Detroit defense corps is somewhat similar to their forwards, as they have some promise again in Niklas Kronwall, but then it becomes more about depth than anything else.  Jonathan Ericsson and Brendan Smith should be able to provide some depth and if Dan DeKeyser can sign with the club on time, I would say that his projections would be in line with being pool worthy as a depth defender.

Goaltending Situation

Assuming that Howard remains in the number one spot, Jonas Gustavsson should remain as the back-up, but it is a long season and if the 2014 campaign showed us anything, it was that the Red Wings goaltending might not be as solid as Howard's contract may suggest.  The Monster may be a really good back-up option, if you felt keen on Howard's collapse.

Team To Pick From Late?

If you were looking at my projections, I would say no.  I don't think the Red Wings are really going to impress many people this season and I think their depth is the real problem.  I would say that Detroit's numbers may raise the most contention from readers, but this is the direction I'm heading in and I wouldn't recommend them this year.

Unsigned Players and Salary Cap

Salary CapThere is only one major restricted free agent left to sign, defenseman Dan DeKeyser and both may be looking for a bit of a raise after each had decent years in 2014.  The Red Wings have a shade over $6 million left with the projected roster that you see above, which should be ample room for both players and these players likely have to be signed before the team decides to make any moves otherwise.


Stephen Weiss has been given the green light for training camp after a second surgery in the 2014 season, done in April.  Weiss is looking to work his way into the top six, but the oft-injured forward will have to battle his luck, as much as he will his teammates for the spot.

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