The Detroit Red Wings have reached the halfway point of the 2021-22 NHL Season, and while things haven't always been completely smooth sailing, the team is enjoying an energized campaign that has been fueled by the emergence of rookies Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider, and Alex Nedeljkovic.
As of tonight, the team currently sits just 5 points out of the final wild card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, a considerable improvement from the state of the team two years ago. Let's check out our individual grades for the players as we look ahead to the second half of the year.
Dylan Larkin: A
The Red Wings captain is enjoying a true renaissance season, and is on pace to record a personal best in goals scored.
Tyler Bertuzzi: A
The gritty forward continues to be a reliable points producer and has established himself as one of the team's most important players.
Lucas Raymond: A
Raymond exploded onto the scene and is a prime candidate to win rookie of the year.
Robbi Fabbri: B+
He was rewarded with a new three-year extension to stick around in the Motor City.
Vladislav Namestnikov: B+
The Russian forward has enjoyed a bounce-back campaign, and has already eclipsed his goal total from last season.
Pius Suter: B
After a bit of a slow start, Suter has settled in nicely in his first year with Detroit.
Filip Zadina: D
Simply put, Zadina has been a disappointment, and was made a healthy scratch earlier this month.
Sam Gagner: C
The veteran forward provides leadership and steady back checking.
Adam Erne: C-
The gritty forward hasn't been seen on the scoresheet as much as he'd like.
Joe Veleno: C
He's split time between both Grand Rapids and the Red Wings this season.
Michael Rasmussen: C+
Detroit's top draft pick from 2017 has gotten better as the season has gone on.
Givani Smith: B
Smith has endeared himself to the fan base with his willingness to drop the gloves, and often.
Filip Hronek: B
A more offensively minded blue liner, Hronek could stand to work on his less than ideal -10 rating.
Moritz Seider: A+
A prime candidate to win the Calder Trophy, Seider has proven to be the steal of the 2019 Draft and will be a fixture on Detroit's blue line for years to come.
Marc Staal: B
The Red Wings saw fit to bring him back for another season, and while he's not what he once was, Staal continues to provide a veteran and calming presence on Detroit's back end.
Danny DeKeyser: D-
DeKeyser's usefulness to the team has come to an end, and then some.
Gustav Lindstrom: B+
The youngster has shown tremendous poise in his first full-time NHL season.
Nick Leddy: B+
Initially paired with Moritz Seider to start the year, Leddy has proven to be a valuable veteran presence in the locker room.
Alex Nedeljkovic: A
Acquired in a steal of a trade from Carolina, Nedeljkovic is now the main man in Detroit's crease.
Thomas Greiss: C
The veteran goalie hasn't posted the best of numbers in his second year in town.