Detroit Red Wings Star #2: Ville Husso
During the summer of 2021, Steve Yzerman made a move to acquire Alex Nedeljkovic from the Carolina Hurricanes in an attempt to solidify the goaltender position and hold down the net until the alleged prodigal son, Sebastian Cossa is overripened and mature. At the time, it seemed like a steal for a goalie coming off an incredible rookie year with Carolina.
His time in Detroit started off reasonably well but ultimately came crumbling down as the end of the season neared. So, the very next summer, Yzerman again made a move for a goalkeeper. This time he acquired the services of former St. Louis Blue, Ville Husso. This swing connected in a way that he had hoped Nedeljkovic would.
The two goalies split time fairly equally to start the season, but it did not take long for Husso to stand out to the coaching staff as the superior talent. The final few weeks were rough, but let’s look past those few games. He had never gone through the grind of playing that many games in a season during his career.
Between the burnout of playing the large majority of the contests and losing nearly half of the starting lineup in front of him, there is reason to ignore a handful of games. Leading up to that point, he was stellar. Husso started 56 of 82 games; he completed the season with four shutouts and posted 1,436 saves, a career-high, before being awarded rest for a handful of meaningless games down the stretch.
Much like Larkin, he alone won some games for the club with outstanding performances, shutting down the opposition on nights when the rest of the team did not seem to show up to give a full effort.
Husso was given a heavy load of playing time, and at times, Detroit rode him multiple games in a row without rest. He performed admirably and kept this team in the playoff hunt much longer than the city of Detroit has been used to over the past seven years.
The organization has found their man to try and make playoff pushes until Cossa arrives, and even then, could play himself into a timeshare for the future.
Ville Husso’s Highlight of the Year: