The Detroit Red Wings’ disappointing season is coming to an unfortunate end. They have a 31-40-10 record and are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games. Not winning a majority of their games, this was undoubtedly a tough season to watch.
Despite a rough season, the Red Wings seems as though they’ve spent valuable time developing their star rookies and the chemistry between their teammates. After this season, It’s clear that they know what they are doing.
But the rebuild had some very good aspects to its first crucial season, including many bright spots. Jakub Vrana is proving he can score at an elite level and Dylan Larkin has returned to a point per game pace. They have two superstar rookies in contention for the Calder Trophy, given out to the best rookie in the NHL.
The Red Wings still have their issues, but they have cap space and prospects in the system ready to contribute next season. Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider are having breakout seasons, but who’s having the better season?
Starting with the former #4 overall pick of the 2020 draft, Raymond has been everything the Wings could’ve asked for in his first season.
He’s scored 23 goals and 56 points throughout 81 games as a rookie. He’s played top-line forward and power-play minutes throughout the season and has developed chemistry with captain Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi.
According to moneypuck.com, in 456 minutes of even-strength hockey, the Red Wings’ top line of Raymond-Larkin-Bertuzzi controlled more than half of the expected goals at 50.2%.
For the Red Wings rebuild, the fact that Raymond has become an immediate contributor and 20-goal scorer in just his first season is a major help to the plan. Raymond’s next step is to become a 30-goal scorer starting next season and really start to drive the offence for the Red Wings. By showing so much promise in his rookie season, it became evident that he can become an elite offensive player in the NHL in just a couple of seasons.
The 21-year-old defenceman had about as good of a season as anyone could’ve asked for. The #6 overall pick of the first round in 2019 showed the potential that made him such a highly coveted pick.
Seider has scored 49 points in 81 games in his rookie defensive season, putting him in the top-20 for defence scoring. Ahead of notable offensive-defenceman names such as Zach Werenski, Mackenzie Weegar, and John Klingberg, Seider showed off an offensive aspect to his game that was more than what the Red Wings could’ve asked for this season.
His offensive game was the lesser-known of the two. The 6-foot-4, near 200-pound defenceman, showed off his size and physicality with plenty of clean, powerful hits throughout the season. Seider’s physicality and defensive ability made him a top-pair shutdown defenceman and allowed him to elevate his game to one of the best two-way defencemen in the entire NHL.
Who had the better season?
The Calder Trophy is viewed as a four-man race with Seider and Raymond being in the mix, along with Maple Leafs forward Michael Bunting and Ducks forward Trevor Zegras.
Seider averages 23:04 time on ice per game. Those are 23 of the toughest minutes in the NHL alongside Danny Dekeyser, all while playing against the opposing teams’ top lines. Despite playing on a struggling team’s top pairing, Seider managed to only have a plus-minus of -10 throughout the season.
Defenceman Moritz Seider is the overwhelming favourite to win the rookie of the year award after the season concludes. Because of this, along with his ability to show off his two-way ability in a way we have not seen in a rookie in a long time, I believe he has had a better season than Raymond.
No matter who had the better season or wins the Calder Trophy, the Red Wings’ future is in good hands.