Red Wings: Dennis Cholowski needs a breakthrough season in 2020-21

(Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
(Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings need to set some high expectations for Dennis Cholowski during the 2020-21 season.

Heading into the Detroit Red Wings 2020-21 season, they will likely have a revamped defense. At a minimum, Danny DeKeyser will be returning to the lineup in a make or break year.

Similarly, defenseman Dennis Cholowski needs to have a breakthrough season where he looks to show significant strides and improvements in his game. Frankly, after the 2019-20 season that Cholowski threw together, it will be hard not to improve.

Cholowski is 22 years old and heading into his third year with the Red Wings even though his 2019-20 campaign resulted in a demotion to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League (AHL).

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The biggest issue with Cholowski last season has been the inability to function in the defensive zone.

Frankly, it seems like Cholowski belongs as a forward with little to no defensive help.

In 2019-20, Cholowski would play in 36 games with the Red Wings, where he scored two goals and added six helpers for eight points.

But the issue is the minus-26 plus/minus rating that he accumulated.

Not to mention, in 2018-19, during his first tenure with the Red Wings, Cholowski was a minus-20 plus/minus rating.

He scored seven goals and tallied nine assists for 16 points in 56 games, but the plus/minus was concerning.

Looking at Cholowski, he needs to be better in the defensive zone. Expanding on that, he needs to be more poised and calm in the defensive zone, trying to avoid mistakes rather than rushing to make something happen.

If Cholowski can be assertive, move the puck well, making good passes, and all around be more effective on the breakout, he will see improvements. His offensive abilities made him an exciting prospect coming up into the Red Wings defense core, but he needed to work things out.

His stints in the minors in 2019-20 will have hopefully allowed him to get some things on track, and heading into 2020-21, he should be looking for a breakout year where he shows plenty of improvement.

The Red Wings should be looking to add a big-name defenseman in the upcoming offseason, but they should also be expecting a drastic improvement from Cholowski. Bringing Cholowski back up to start the 2020-21 season would be a smart move by the Red Wings.

Cholowski needs to be a reliable bottom-pairing defenseman in 2020-21, showing improvements in the defensive zone, and still be able to capitalize on opportunities in the offensive zone.

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The Detroit Red Wings still have a chance to see Dennis Cholowski succeed at the NHL level; hopefully, the 2020-21 season is where he will figure it out.