Detroit Red Wings seeing Vladislav Namestnikov earn top-six playing time

(Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)
(Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings signed Vladislav Namestnikov to a two-year, $4 million contract that carries him through the end of this season. This was in an offseason where the Red Wings spent minimally and expected to use him in a bottom-six role.

During the 2021-22 season, Namestnikov has made some serious strides for the Detroit Red Wings that have vaulted him into the team’s top-six forwards. He’s performed incredibly well during the 2021-22 season and is making his $4 million contract look like one of Yzerman’s better moves.

One of the most significant issues the Red Wings have had throughout this rebuild is the struggle to find scoring and offense among this team’s offense. However, in 2021-22 that has changed, and Namestnikov is one of the unlikely sources of scoring.

The Red Wings likely did not expect this from Namestnikov, but he has been able to be a constant source of offense this season. He may not be heading towards some record-setting performance, but the uptick in the offense for Namestnikov is fantastic.

Detroit Red Wings’ Vladislav Namestnikov has earned time in the top-six.

Namestnikov has logged 40 games for the Red Wings, where he has 11 goals and nine assists for 20 total points on the season. He has already eclipsed his 17-point performance over his 53 games of the 2020-21 season.

It’s great to see Namestnikov tallying points and being a productive member of the Red Wings offense. If the organization continues trying to hold their own near the .500 mark, he needs to continue scoring.

On top of that, Namestnikov is in a contract year and is playing for another deal somewhere or at least an extension with the Red Wings. When it comes to Yzerman and extensions, he’s no stranger to pulling the trigger on them.

Namestnikov is 29 years old and approaching the big 30; another short-term extension with the Red Wings certainly cannot be ruled out. He wanted to join the team in Hockeytown, partially due to his familial ties to Slava Kozlov. (Anyone who’s watched a Red Wings game would know this, as they really like to advertise this during the telecast.)

If Namestnikov can continue to be rock solid in the team’s top-six, he may just earn a chance to be a part of the Red Wings bottom-six as a solid member. The Red Wings have gotten plenty from him so far, between offense and versatility there is a lot to like.

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It seems like he’s liked in the locker room, and given his connection to the Red Wings, he may be more receptive to an extension.