Detroit Red Wings: Identifying the next core group of players

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: Michael Rasmussen, ninth overall pick of the Detroit Red Wings, poses for a portrait during Round One of the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: Michael Rasmussen, ninth overall pick of the Detroit Red Wings, poses for a portrait during Round One of the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Every team in every sport has a core group of players. Some teams like to draft them and let them gel together. Others prefer to sign free agents and create a core from players selected by other teams. The Detroit Red Wings currently are weeding through their next core group.

As the Detroit Red Wings hockey club rebuilds and strives to regain its place among the NHL elite, the search is on inside the organization to find a young nucleus that will develop into a core group to lead the charge.

Dylan Larkin, has improved his play and is viewed as both a building block and captain of the future.  Possibly the not too distant future.  For that to happen, the young center must continue to up his game.  Few in the Detroit Red Wings front office, coaching staff and inside NHL circles have no doubt he will.

Michael Rasmussen, he has yet to get ice time in the Motor City. However, some members of the media are tabbing him a core player. That seems a bit premature. He very well could develop into that role. Until he does the verdict is unknown.

Filip Zadina I am VERY tempted to say; he is a sure lock to be a core player. His skill set both offensively and defensively dictate he will be. I can not label him a core player at this time. Like Rasmussen, he must show it on the ice. Just because a player can score goals does not put him in the core category no matter how talented they are.

Joe Veleno, first off I still can not believe the Red Wings netted both Zadina and Veleno in the same draft. By all accounts, Joe is going to be an outstanding center.  Joe is going to start his career either in the juniors or minor leagues.

A player I like a lot and one who I think gets lost in the core group shuffle is Tyler Bertuzzi. Tyler is a rink rat.  A Jack of all trades.  He can score.  He can play on the grind line. He can be a pain to other teams.  I feel like Tyler is more than an excellent player. I think he will take the next step forward and become a go-to player.

Core players must be able to do more than score goals as I alluded to. They must be active on the forecheck, play at the very least adequate defense while being able to get into the dirty areas on the ice.

Core players also must be able to elevate not only their game, but the play of teammates. It is not all on the captain or the star players.

Next. Potential 30 Goal achievers for the Detroit Red Wings. dark

For the Detroit Red Wings rebuild to move along core players must be identified and not just assumed.  This will be a crucial area to watch as training camp starts up and kicks into gear. It will also help Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, know which direction to take in both the 2019 NHL draft and free agency.