The Detroit Red Wings locked up one of their own restricted free agents today, signing defenseman Xavier Ouellet to a two-year contract extension.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) July 3, 2017
The French native appeared in 66 games for Detroit last season, scoring three goals to go with nine assists. His plus/minus rating was +2, and he also amassed 51 PIM. He has five goals and 11 assists in 96 career NHL games. He and Robbie Russo were the only defensemen who didn’t post a negative plus-minus rating for the Red Wings this past season. (Russo only appeared in 19 games).
Soon after agreeing to the deal, he took to Twitter to express his happiness.
— xavier ouellet (@The_XMan16) July 3, 2017
He’s turned himself into a reliable defenseman for the Red Wings, who now have a crowded blueline with the addition of free-agent Trevor Daley. Though he was scratched in 15 of 17 games from October 21 through November 25 of last season, an injury to now former Red Wings defenseman Alexey Marchenko paved the way for Ouellet. He played in all but one game the rest of the season.
He doesn’t shy away from physical play, and will be looking to further establish himself in the NHL after his first full year. The Red Wings drafted him 48th overall in the 2011 NHL Draft.
With the signing of Ouellet, the Red Wings will now turn their attention to getting restricted free-agents Tomas Tatar and Andreas Athanasiou re-signed.