The Detroit Red Wings have been busy this off-season, but that does not change the players that were around in past seasons. The Red Wings had a couple of players who really were able to get the job done and turn some heads with solid performances.
One of the things the Detroit Red Wings should have been happy with last season was the performance of Olli Määttä. In fact, Määttä was able to play well enough to earn a two-year, $6 million contract from the man upstairs.
General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman opted to hand out an extension to the veteran defender. He’s a 29-year-old defenseman who had a bit of a breakout season during the 2022-23 season, which may not be possible ten years into an NHL career.
However, he nearly posted a career-high in points. Twice in his six years as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, he reached 29 points on the season, and he fell six short of that in 2022-23 but played a solid game overall, leaving the Red Wings happy.
Detroit Red Wings defender Olli Määttä is hoping for another big year.
In his first year with the Red Wings organization, Määttä was able to log 78 games played, where he scored six goals and added 17 assists for 23 total points. He averaged 18:42 in terms of ice time per game, which is good for the Red Wings to move forward.
When it comes to the Red Wings future, having Määttä around for the 2023-24 season and the 2024-25 season will be a good thing. He settled in on the second-pairing well last season, and he should be able to continue to hold down that role.
After a 23-point performance in 2022-23, Määttä is looking to come out and improve upon that further to push for a career-best. The Red Wings had a couple of new additions this off-season, bringing in three new defenders to join the core.
Määttä is a left-handed defender who may get kicked to the third-pairing given the new additions, but there should still be reason to believe he can be a beneficial piece of the puzzle. After all, Määttä proved he deserves the time of day and deserves to be played as part of the team’s defense core.
The Red Wings will need to see solid performances out of players like Määttä once again. The 2023-24 season is supposed to be the one where Yzerman helps this team get over the hump of the rebuild.
To see that through, which is a tall task, the Red Wings will need all hands on deck. That means another good performance out of players like Määttä.