Red Wings 2021 Final Opening Night Roster Prediction

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - MARCH 11: Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings looks to get a shot off in front of Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Little Caesars Arena on March 11, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - MARCH 11: Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings looks to get a shot off in front of Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Little Caesars Arena on March 11, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Defensemen

Steve Yzerman has indicated that the Red Wings will start the season with eight defensemen.  This number will be fluid throughout the season, especially when the team travels to Canada and Bertuzzi is unavailable to travel with the team.

Throughout the preseason the defense pairings have remained the same.

Nick Leddy and Moritz Seider remain the top pair.  They move the puck out of their end with ease, create scoring chances on virtually every shift, and are the best tandem the Red Wings have had on defense in a very long time.  Hopefully, the Red Wings can sign Leddy to a new contract before he becomes an UFA.  Leddy has looked exceptional with Seider throughout the preseason.

Even though Danny DeKeyser has had trouble throughout the preseason, he will be given every opportunity to play on the 2nd pair with Filip Hronek.  Expect the pair to play less minutes against the top lines this year and this should allow them the chance to not be exposed defensively by exceptional players.

Marc Staal and Troy Stecher will remain the Red Wings third defense pairing.  Last year, this tandem played more minutes against top lines then they will see this year.

Waiting as extras are Gustav Lindstrom and Jordan Oesterle.  When injuries occur, both defensemen can easily slide into this lineup.  Veterans such as DeKeyser and Staal will also need nights off when the team plays back-to-back games.

Opening Night Defensemen: Nick Leddy, Danny DeKeyser, Marc Staal, Moritz Seider, Filip Hronek, Troy Stecher

Healthy Scratches: Jordan Oesterle and Gustav Lindstrom