Detroit Red Wings: Grading the 2019-20 defensemen performances

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The third grouping of defenseman contains two youngsters and one of Steve Yzerman’s summer additions.

Gustav Lindstrom, Grade: B

The Detroit Red Wings may not have the perfectionist of Nicklas Lidstrom, but they have another swede with a similar name that has a lot to be excited about. Now Gustav Lindstrom is not primed to be the next, Lidstrom, but the same names should bring about some nostalgia for Red Wings fans.

In sixteen games with the Red Wings in the 2019-20 season, Lindstrom would only record one assist but play quite well. Lindstrom looked like he belonged, not playing “skittish,” as some young defensemen do when making the jump to the NHL. He played calm and collected, showing poise with the puck, which was something to look forward to in his future with the organization.

Dylan McIlrath, Grade: C

Ultimately, Dylan McIlrath would spend the majority of his season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, but he did play sixteen games with the Red Wings. McIlrath is a physical defender, known for his defensive presence on the ice, which makes sense why he did not tally a single point while playing with the Red Wings during the 2019-20 season.

He would produce a 45.5 CF%, which is 1.7% lower than the team average, he also was deployed into the defensive zone during 55% of his shifts with the Red Wings this season. He will most likely spend more time in the AHL with the Griffins next season but is still under contract for at least the 2020-21 season before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Patrik Nemeth, Grade: C

As mentioned on the first slide, Patrik Nemeth played in the second-most games on the Red Wings among defensemen during the 2019-20 season. In those sixty-four games played, he would tally one goal and eight assists for nine points. This summer, Nemeth was brought in a grouping of small moves from Steve Yzerman, signing Nemeth to a two-year deal.

Nemeth is nothing but a defensive defenseman who posted a 47.4 CF %, which was 1.6% above the team average. Bringing in Nemeth this summer did not do much for the defense core, but he has still been sent out there and gotten shifts most nights.

Nemeth averaged 22:02 in ice time during the 2019-20 season, which was behind only Hronek and DeKeyser. His defensive contributions to the Red Wings is what earns him a “C” on the season which is still not suitable for a player explicitly signed for his defensive skills.