The Detroit Red Wings are clearly in need of an elite player, preferably a bonified scorer.
Many Detroit Red Wings fans continue to hold out hope that newly appointed team captain Dylan Larkin regains his scoring touch, becoming a consistent 30-goal scorer he’d once shown. At this point, Larkin’s 32 goal performance that came in 2018-19 appears nothing more than a fluke.
It’s a topic many Red Wings fans are reluctant to embrace. The second someone criticizes Detroit’s team captain; they are usually abruptly cut off and read the riot act, followed by an abundance of excuses usually headlined by the lack of a supporting cast.
The excuses may be justified to an extent, but elite NHL players find a way to fill the stat sheet despite playing on an overall awful team.
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There is no doubt a player like Larkin will benefit from playing alongside Tyler Bertuzzi, who has missed upwards of five weeks due to injury, and it’s noteworthy that Larkin himself has missed the last handful of games with an injury.
That being said, I worry about Larkin’s overall body of work as the first-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings is already in his sixth season. Larkin has only scored 20 goals twice to date including 30 once.
So far in 2021, Larkin has amassed a mere four goals and 11 points in 22 games, not the stellar numbers of an elite scorer.
Don’t misconstrue this; Larkin is an outstanding NHL player; he’s just not elite. Larkin seems like an above-average second-line ‘do it all’ center, but when forced to carry the team as a top-line center, his stock vastly drops to a bottom-of-the-league first-line center.
The Detroit Red Wings are in dire need of an elite scorer.
When you look around the league players like Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon’s of the league, I can’t help but become jealous.
I’ve held out hope that Anthony Mantha would eventually figure things out, but he’s been widely inconsistent throughout his entire NHL career. I find myself feeling the same way about Filip Zadina, both of which I became ecstatic about after the organization drafted them.
As it stands now defenseman, Moritz Seider remains the organization’s top prospect, quickly followed by general manager Steve Yzerman’s most recent top draft choice, forward Lucas Raymond.
The Red Wings drafted Raymond with the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Level Draft projects as a first-line winger, but will he become an elite scorer?
The jury is still out.
Raymond is currently playing professional hockey in Sweden with Frolunda HC in the Swedish Elite League. So far in 2020-21, the 18-year old has recorded six goals and 18 points in 34 contests.
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The Detroit Red Wings will once again have an opportunity to land a difference-maker in the 2021 NHL Entry Level Draft as they are set to be lottery-bound. One of these years, the Red Wings need some lottery luck; the organization often loses draft position, but hopefully, this will be the year the tide shifts.