CONTRACT: The 2016-17 Season will be the 5th of a seven year, $33,250,000 contract signed by Kronwall. His cap hit this year is $4,750,000.
2015-16 REGULAR SEASON STATS: 63 games, three goals, 23 assists, 30 PIM, -21 rating
2015-16 PLAYOFF STATS: Five games, zero goals, one assist, eight PIM, +3 rating
CAREER REGULAR SEASON STATS: 738 games, 74 goals, 291 assists, 456 PIM, +21 rating
CAREER PLAYOFF STATS: 109 games, five goals, 42 assists, 89 PIM, +25 rating
Detroit Red Wings defenseman and assistant captain Niklas Kronwall enters his 12th full NHL season this year as the head of Detroit’s defensive corps. Injuries limited him to 64 games last season, and he’s looking to stay healthy and contribute to a Red Wings defense that struggled to keep opponents off the scoresheet last season.
Last season also saw Kronwall record a career low in 0.95 shots per game as well as a team-worst -21 plus/minus rating, stats that he’ll be looking to improve upon.
It was a knee issue that hounded Kronwall for most of last year, and he underwent arthroscopic surgery in January. Kronwall then sprained his knee in March and missed an additional three games. He continued his rehabbing throughout this summer and opted not to join Team Sweden during the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Rather than undergoing another surgical procedure, Kronwall instead is relying on his training and rest to get him through this year as healthy as possible. He’ll need a bounce-back year if Detroit intends on keeping their playoff streak alive.
BIGGEST QUESTION: Will Kronwall be able to stay healthy and return to form as leader of Detroit’s defense?
2016-17 Projection: 75 games, eight goals, 28 assists, +5 rating