The Detroit Red Wings defense core is not in terrific shape, but they will be getting Danny DeKeyser back from injury for the 2020-21 season.
Since there is no Detroit Red Wings hockey being played right now, the focus turns to the future of Red Wings hockey. One of the first names that should come to mind is defenseman Danny DeKeyser who lost is 2019-20 season to an injury.
Sadly, DeKeyser played in only eight games on the season, registering four assists while averaging just a tick over 22 minutes per game. The former Western Michigan Broncos defender is in his eighth year with the Red Wings, becoming a veteran on the blueline.
DeKeyser is in the fourth year of a six-year contract, where he has an average annual value (AAV) of $5 million. With this contract, he will take home $5 million throughout the next two seasons.
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The Red Wings may be overpaying a little bit for DeKeyser, who has not put up more than twenty points since the 2014-15 season.
He is a reliable defender, but the scoring has not been the most plentiful for a $5 million AAV defenseman.
The Red Wings defenseman spent the 2019-20 season on the sideline with a back injury that would ultimately require surgery.
Losing DeKeyser essentially meant that Filip Hronek was vaulted into the position of “number one” defender on the team, and his ice time increase showed that.
But, healthy and recovered, DeKeyser will be back on the Red Wings blue line in time for the 2020-21 season.
Now thirty-years-old, it will be his ninth season in the National Hockey League (NHL), and he should be poised for a lot of ice time alongside Hronek. If all goes well, expect DeKeyser to return to the blueline as a solid defender who allows some of the youngsters to grow into the NHL and test the waters with the Red Wings.
In terms of the youngsters, DeKeyser should be a fantastic mentor to the Red Wings young crop of defensemen. If the Red Wings do call up defenseman Moritz Seider next season, expect DeKeyser to be one of his defense partners to teach him.
Especially being that Seider is a defensive defender who also can move the puck up ice and show glimpses of offensive prowess. Think of Seider as a more offensively skilled version of DeKeyser, all around with a much higher ceiling.
DeKeyser should be able to teach Seider and other young defensemen a lot on the Detroit Red Wings blueline in 2020-21.