Detroit Red Wings: 5 potential 15-goal scorers in 2021

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Detroit Red Wings
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As we head towards the start of the 2021 season, here is a look at five Detroit Red Wings with 15-goal potential.

The Detroit Red Wings entered the offseason with many needs but none more glaring than the need for depth scoring.  Steve Yzerman went out and addressed this by adding veteran forwards Bobby Ryan, Vladislav Namestnikov, along with drafting forward Lucas Raymond fourth overall.  Raymond likely won’t make an immediate impact but certainly will down the road.

Yzerman wisely bought out Justin Abdelkader, and although we are very early on in training camp, it appears veteran forward Frans Nielsen is the odd-man-out.

The Red Wings are expected to field a more offensive-minded, top-nine forward unit rather than a plethora of two-way forwards with a limited skill-set.  For years Ken Holland continued to stock-pile a number of the fourth line, penalty killing-type forwards that head coach Jeff Blashill was forced to sprinkle in throughout his lineup.

A team can only field so many Christoffer Ehn, Adam Erne, Valterri Filppula, Frans Nielsen, Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Luke Glendening-type players. I understand Yzerman brought in Erne, but he fits into the same column.

The NHL has implemented a shortened 56 game season in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Here are five Detroit Red Wings’ players that have 15-goal potential despite the condensed schedule.

Honorable mention; Vladislav Namestnikov (2019-20,17G, 14A, 31P), Robby Fabbri (2019-20, 15G, 17A, 32P).

Dylan Larkin

As we head into 2021, Dylan Larkin remains the franchise’s top player.  Recently Yzerman mentioned that the organization would be finally naming a captain before the start of the season.  All signs point to Larkin.

Larkin has had his fair share of ups and downs throughout his first five NHL seasons, but he’s provided the Red Wings with a stable, productive first-line center over the last three seasons.  I still believe Larkin would be best suited as a second-line center on a Stanley Cup contender, but he’s clearly Detroit’s top forward.  That being said, Larkin will benefit from playing with a better supporting cast.

Larkin’s offensive production may jump once Filip Zadina and Lucas Raymond find their groove at the NHL level.  Mantha is a talented goal scorer, but it’s easy for teams to match up against Detroit.  Teams don’t just deploy their top defenders against the Larkin line; they generally use their top checking forward line against them as well.  As the Red Wings add depth scoring, it won’t only free up Larkin, Mantha, and Bertuzzi, it makes matching up against the Red Wings as a whole a bit more difficult.

Over the past three seasons, Larkin has recorded 67 goals, 122 assists totaling 189 points in 229 games while averaging nearly 21 minutes per game.  During that time, Larkin also won 52.5% of his faceoffs.  Larkin produced a Corsi For Percentage of 50.6 last season.

Larkin has the potential to produce a 15 goal season in ’21 despite the abbreviated schedule.