Red Wings: Breaking Down the Top 10 Potential Targets This Off-Season

Jeff Petry of the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Jeff Petry of the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
Valeri Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Valeri Nichushkin, LW/RW

I wrote an article about three forwards I feel the Red Wings should target a week ago. Since that point, one of the names has already removed themselves off the list: Kevin Fiala.

Fiala was just traded to the Los Angeles Kings a couple days ago and signed a big extension as well. So, he’s no longer available. However, Valeri Nichushkin is, and I expect him to be a pretty good pickup if he does indeed hit the free agency market.

Nichushkin came into the league back in 2013 with the Dallas Stars. Showing signs of being a pretty good player in this league, the Stars decided to give him a chance. That wasn’t the smart move.

Since moving teams, Nichushkin has really hit his stride. More specifically, this season. Nichushkin has been incredibly valuable to the Avalanche in their current postseason run, but he was also a huge part to their organization throughout the regular season as well.

Having played in 62 games this season for the Avalanche, he was able to record 25 goals, 27 assists, for a total of 52 points. All the while having a +/- of +21.

Now, even though he was very good in the regular season, he has absolutely been a force this postseason for the Avalanche. Having played in 20 games so far, he has nine goals and six assists for 15 total points. But, what’s even more surprising is the time on ice he’s been seeing.

For his incredible efforts, the Avalanche have decided to give him an increase in ice time.

But, now it’s time to talk about why the Red Wings should sign him:

The Red Wings roster is wide open since they currently have 11 players listed as free agents. Not to mention the cap space they currently have, money is no issue if they want to go after some of the bigger names on the free agent market. But that’s not Yzerman’s style. He seems to like the depth more than the star power. That’s what Nichushkin is, except, he has proven to be a rising star.

Now, I have no idea if he’ll ever be a point per game player but truth be told, we wouldn’t need him to be. What we need him to do is be a gritty defensive player that can score in front of the net and shoot the puck on the wing.