First up on the circuit of defenseman, going in alphabetical order, is Alex Biega, Madison Bowey, and Trevor Daley.
Alex Biega, Grade: C
Looking at Alex Biega’s performance with the Detroit Red Wings in 2019-20, he only made it onto the scoresheet three times with three assists. Thirty-one-year-old Biega was not going to be anything special; he produced a 44.3 Corsi For (CF%) on the season, which was only 1.7% below the team average.
Biega did do a good as a third pairing defender which was why he was given a “C.” He was not going to go out and put the puck in the net routinely or be any sort of offensive threat, but in the defensive zone, he was not the worst among the Red Wings grouping of defensemen. He was recently given a one-year extension to spend time on the Red Wings blueline during the 2020-21 season.
Madison Bowey, Grade: B
After the Red Wings brought in Madison Bowey during the 2018-19 season in a trade with the Capitals, it was seen as more of an investment. Now twenty-four, Bowey managed three goals and fourteen assists for seventeen points over fifty-three games. He would post a 44.4 CF%, which is 2.0% lower than the rest of the team.
He earned “B” for his offense, which started to come into its own, earning him some time on the second power-play line. He was no offensive scorer, but he spent more time in the defensive zone than he’d like meaning it was harder for him to get opportunities in the offensive zone.
This offseason Bowey will be a restricted free agent, and there is no reason why he should not be given a contract and continued to be run out there on the blueline in 2020-21. He was no star on the ice, but the offensive upside he showed flashes of while stepping into a middle pairing role was deserving of one of the few good grades being dished out.
Dennis Cholowski, Grade: D
Going into the 2019-20 season the expectations were high for defenseman Dennis Cholowski, and ultimately he would disappoint greatly. Between stints in the minors and call-ups to the NHL, he would log thirty-six total games on the year. He would score two goals and log six assists for eight total points.
It was not the ideal season for Cholowski who could not find his groove on the back end, bouncing between the AHL and NHL throughout the season. He regressed from his 2018-19 season, but he has the makings of a defender who could end up being a late bloomer. Cholowski may not be the blueline quarterback, but he may show up as a middle of the pack defenseman after being a late bloomer.