The Detroit Red Wings 2021-22 season is quickly approaching. That being said, the team is being built, and players are starting to figure out what their roles are going to be. Defenseman Jordan Oesterle is going to be the odd-man-out for this team as it stands now.
This offseason, the Detroit Red Wings opted to bring in Oesterle as a depth addition to the teams’ defense core. He has gotten plenty of ice time this offseason, and it feels like he will definitely see the ice once the season kicks off.
Oesterle is no hero, no Norris candidate, or some huge difference-maker. The product of Dearborn Heights, Michigan, has spent seven years in the NHL and is returning home for his eighth season. He was signed by Edmonton Oilers out of college after playing for the Western Michigan Broncos in college.
He signed a two-year deal worth $1.35 million annually to be a part of the team’s defense core. It’s a move to add depth and should be viewed as such. He’s going to be someone that slots in wherever he can, and his ability to play both sides and play off-hand will add to his value.
Detroit Red Wings signee Jordan Oesterle is the odd man out.
In his last few seasons, Oesterle has been out in Arizona playing for the Coyotes. In last year’s shortened season, Oesterle logged 43 games where he had a goal and ten assists for 11 total points.
He has not been a real threat on the blue line to score, but he can be an extra guy. He is the odd man out in the Red Wings defense core, but it makes sense. The team has six guys who are likely to get time in front of him, possibly more depending on how things shake out with Moritz Seider and Gustav Lindstrom.
Under the assumption that Oesterle will be the team’s seventh defenseman, he will find ways into games and be the extra player dressed. If he can provide a night of rest for some of the veterans and slot in where needed, his “odd man out” role could be clutch.
He has the ability to play off-hand and break the stereotype. It feels like a lot of times, coaches and teams are shy to play a defenseman on the off-hand side. For example, I would love to see Seider and Filip Hronek on the same pairing, but both are right-defensemen.
So, while Oesterle may not be someone who jumps off the page at you, he could be the swiss army knife defender who slots in when needed. After all, he’s going to be here for the next two seasons, and if he can be a reliable third pairing or fill-in guy, there should be plenty of value for him.
It will be interesting to see how the Red Wings use Oesterle in 2021-22.