The best moves Steve Yzerman has made as the Detroit Red Wings GM

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Detroit Red Wings, Red Wings, Jake Walman
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When the Detroit Red Wings selected Moritz Seider.

In Yzerman’s first draft as Detroit Red Wings General Manager, he shocked the hockey community when he opted to take German defenseman Moritz Seider at number six overall in the 2019 draft. TSN’s Bob McKenzie ranked Seider as the #16 overall prospect and was not expected to go until the mid-teen to twenty spots of the first round.

This pick paid off big time for the Wings, with Seider proving that Yzerman had made the right choice and winning the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year) in 2022 (Detroit’s first winner since 1964/65). In his rookie season, the 21-year-old Seider put up seven goals (second among rookie defensemen), 43 assists (1st), and 50 points (1st) and also led all first-year players with 21 power-play points, four game-winning goals, 187 shots on goal and in ice time per game at 23:02.

The 6’4′ Seider has added grit to the defense for the Red Wings, along with the hopes that they have found their next franchise defenseman for the next ten or so years.

When the Detroit Red Wings traded, Nick Leddy, in turn, discovered Jake Walman.

In March of 2022, Yzerman swung a trade with the St. Louis Blues, sending defensemen Nick Leddy and Luke Witkowski to the Blues for forward Oskar Sundqvist and defenseman Jake Walman. Walman has proven to be the key piece of this trade, pairing up with Seider on the first pairing to create a solid 1-2 punch on the back end.

In his first season with the Detroit Red Wings in 2022/23, Walman played in 63 games, put up nine goals and nine assists for 18 points, and led the team in plus/minus at a plus 10. His contributions to the team have gone beyond the stat sheet, though, solidifying the defense and adding a little bit of flare and “swagger” as well.

In February, Walman was rewarded with a new three-year, $10.2 million contract. While Nick Leddy has enjoyed some success in St. Louis, he had fallen flat in Detroit, and adding the younger Walman has proven to be an excellent pick-up for the Wings.