Vladislav Namestnikov is exceeding expectations for the Detroit Red Wings

(Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports)
(Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings brought in forward Vladislav Namestnikov on a two-year, $4 million contract to be a part of the team’s bottom six. In the midst of a rebuild, Namestnikov was a solid depth addition for the team’s forward core, and in year two, he’s performing exceptionally well.

As the Detroit Red Wings continue on with their rebuild and move back into a time of competition, having some of these contracts work out for them is huge. Namestnikov is a seasoned veteran, and this year he looks like he is going to exceed expectations the rest of the way easily.

Through the Red Wings 28 games, he’s got nine goals and six assists for 15 total points. While it may not be much, but the uptick in scoring is quality. If he can continue to perform at this level, there’s a lot to like about his two-year deal.

Namestnikov’s versatility has also been a real plus for the Red Wings. They’re able to plug him in wherever is needed, and at times he’s jumped up into the team’s top six and provided some help where it was needed.

Detroit Red Wings forward Vladislav Namestnikov has been a quality signing.

Namestnikov’s style of play sort of reminds me of 2016-17 Dylan Larkin, who was out on the ice flying around left and right. Namestnikov may not have the same speed as Larkin, but he’s always out there making things happen.

Between putting pressure on the opposing defenders on the forecheck or backchecking hard to catch up in the defensive zone, he’s always doing something. The skills may not be that of a top-line player, but he’s almost always finding a way to get involved.

Namestnikov is a hard-working player for the Red Wings, someone who gets it done on both sides of the ice. While his nine goals and six assists may not be all-encompassing of his 2021-22 season performance, it’s the intangibles and the style of play that are really standing out.

It’s easy to see why Namestnikov was brought in to add some depth to this team. This year he certainly stepped it up even farther, and it’s showing. The Red Wings should be more than happy with his performance thus far.

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He’s exceeded the expectations for a player who is making $2 million a year in a depth role. The Red Wings are capitalizing on bargain deals like this, and Namestnikov’s surely doing more than was expected when he joined the organization.