Another long time NHL veteran, Frans Nielsen has shown flashes of why he could be a decent addition to some teams, but his trade value is at a point where it seems that Yzerman will be unable to move him.
When the Detroit Red Wings signed Nielsen back in 2016-17, he was still an offensive threat/asset that could move the puck, score here and there, but play a top-six forward role. Since coming to Detroit, Nielsen has become the next version of Stephen Weiss, whom the Red Wings are still paying from the buyout. Keep that in mind, because if the Red Wings are unable to move Nielsen and they were to buy him out due to his awful remaining cap hit, he would indeed become the next Weiss for the organization.
Nielsen has not scored more than forty-one points since coming to the Red Wings organization. However, he has kept his face-off win percentage relatively steady throughout his career for what that’s worth.
In 2019-20 Nielsen has three goals and four assists for seven total goals with a minus-seven rating through fifty-one games. The Red Wings have converted Nielsen into their third-line center, who occasionally jumps up to the second line spot depending on how Blashill mixes up the lines.
Similar to Abdelkader, regression and contract issues are the critical reasons for Nielsen, most likely being stuck with the Detroit Red Wings after the trade deadline. Being thirty-five years old, Nielsen has the cards stacked against him for the ability to start getting better as time goes on.
Even if a team thinks he may fit their system or want to add some offensive depth, the $5.25 million cap hit for the next two seasons should be a hard no from any organization.