Detroit Red Wings: Adam Erne’s production tapering off in 2021-22

(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings invested in Adam Erne to turn some things around here in Hockeytown. General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman was in on Erne and felt he was someone who might benefit from bigger chances and getting more playing time.

The Detroit Red Wings saw Erne start putting up some numbers and be one of the team’s better sources of offense. That was last year; things have not worked out so well for him during the 2021-22 season.

Things are starting to taper off, and it looks like the 2020-21 season was just a flash of some offense that is too good to be true. The odds that he ignites a fire under himself and starts churning out goals are low.

It just seems more and more likely that Erne is going to be destined to be a fourth-line guy who eats up some minutes and occasionally lucks into a goal. It’s like having Justin Abdelkader back when he was at the end of his Red Wings tenure, except the cap hit is much friendlier.

Detroit Red Wings forward Adam Erne’s production is tapering off.

After a strong season in 2020-21, there was some hope to become a productive member of the Red Wings offense. He played in 45 games with 11 goals and nine assists for 20 total points for the Red Wings.

While it’s nothing crazy or nothing that will earn him a massive extension, it was a very quality performance. Erne bounced back in 2021-22 with a much different performance. He’s played in 45 games once again, where he has four goals and six assists for just ten points.

Half of the performance of last season in the same amount of games played. Yuck. I have never really been too high on Erne, but I had hoped that this fluke of a 2020-21 season meant that he was going to start producing some more offense.

One of the things I found when looking at his advanced metrics was his very high PDO rating. PDO measures “luck” and essentially is a metric that takes several things into account to produce one singular number for every player. Below 100 is “unlucky,” and above 100 is considered “lucky.”

Here’s an article with a good explanation of PDO and how it may have played a role in Robby Fabbri’s performance. Erne’s rating for the 2020-21 season was 102.4, which deviates pretty high above the average and indicates that he was getting “lucky” on some of his shots.

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This season, things have not been going so kindly for Erne either; it’s something to note with a 95.1 PDO rating. However, it seems like Erne is a fourth-line guy at the end of the day and lucked into some offense. The tapering off should have been expected.