A deep look at predicting the full Detroit Red Wings roster for opening night

(Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images)
(Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images) /
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Lucas Raymond, David Perron, Detroit Red Wings, Red Wings
(Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings second line: David Perron-Andrew Copp-Lucas Raymond

I’ve swayed back and forth with the center position on this second unit but inevitably landed with Andrew Copp getting the first opportunity. Copp is coming off a disappointing first season with the Detroit Red Wings, scoring just nine goals and 42 points over 82 games. Detroit signed the former Wolverine to a large five-year $28.125 contract last summer.

Copp is a reliable two-way center with plenty of creativity in his game which should gel well with Lucas Raymond and David Perron’s scoring abilities. The hope is that Copp can be a reliable facilitator and get back to being a 20-goal scorer as he was in 2021-22 during his contract year.

Raymond, 21, suffered a slight sophomore slump last season, seeing his offensive production dip in year two. Raymond burst onto the scene as a rookie, recording 23 goals and 57 points, playing primarily with Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi on Detroit’s top line. Last season, Raymond totaled 17 goals and 45 points. David Perron enjoyed a very productive first year in Detroit, recording 24 goals and 56 points over 82 games last season.

The veteran winger won’t wow you with his skating ability, but like most savvy vets, he seems to position himself in the right spot more often than not. Perron, 35, worked well along the wall and half boards last season and has a knack for shielding the puck. He should work well on this second group with Copp and Raymond. The Red Wings need consistent secondary scoring if they hope to make the jump to the postseason in 2023-24.

The Detroit Red Wings third line: Jonatan Berggren-J.T. Compher-Daniel Sprong

This third group can be very productive for the Detroit Red Wings this season. The addition of J.T. Compher solidifies Detroit’s lineup down the middle. Like Larkin and Copp, the former Wolverine is a strong, reliable two-way center. Can you see a trend here? No, not that each center is a Michigan alumn, but all three play a 200-foot game. Compher is coming off a 17-goal, 52-point season with the Colorado Avalanche, where he spent the past seven seasons.

I have Compher flanked by Detroit’s top-scoring prospect from a year ago, Jonatan Berggren, and newly acquired 20-plus goal scorer Daniel Sprong. Berggren, 23, is coming off a productive first season, where he recorded 15 goals and 28 points over 67 games.