The first grouping of Detroit Red Wings forwards is expired Justin Abdelkader, break out Tyler Bertuzzi, and invisible Christoffer Ehn.
Justin Abdelkader, Grade: F
The 2019-20 Detroit Red Wings season was not very kind to Justin Abdelkader, who seemingly fell apart even more than in recent years. Abdelkader would pick up only three assists over forty-nine games while being minus-fourteen on the season. He would only average 11:32 in terms of ice-time over those forty-nine games falling non-existent.
His lack of performance in the Red Wings lineup is what deserved him of the “F” grade. Sadly, Abdelkader is still going to be suiting up in a Red Wings uniform beyond 2019-20, being that he is under contract for three more seasons. Abdelkader will make $4.25 million over each of the next three seasons, and it may be time for General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman to look into a buyout, the team has the cap space.
Tyler Bertuzzi, Grade: A
One of the very few “A” grades given out on the entire team goes to Tyler Bertuzzi, who had another great season and may have had the opportunity to boost his performance in the last eleven games of the season. Bertuzzi would score twenty-one goals and nab twenty-eight assists for forty-eight total points.
Bertuzzi is a restricted free agent at the end of the season, and between him and Mantha, the Red Wings need to ensure they bring these two back for the foreseeable future. He would also get the Red Wings all-star nomination, stepping in for an injured Anthony Mantha. Bertuzzi’s numbers were also deserving of the nomination, and it offered a new experience for the twenty-five years old.
Christoffer Ehn, Grade: D
Looking at Christoffer Ehn’s second season with the Red Wings, he did not muster up any more offense than he did in 2018-19. Throughout fifty-four games, Ehn would score two goals and tally two assists for four total points while posting a minus-twenty-one rating on the season. Ehn also posted a horrific 40.9 Corsi For (CF%) rating, which was 6.8% lower than the team rating.
Sadly, Ehn did not pan out to be more than a fourth-line body to go out there when needed. He is a stopgap until some of the kids from the minors make their way to the NHL roster for trial runs and eventually push names like Filppula and Nielsen down to the third and fourth lines.