Detroit Red Wings forward Andrew Copp re-establishing himself in 2023-24

While I've been a big critic of Andrew Copp, he's been solid for the bottom-six with the Detroit Red Wings. Less is more with Copp in terms of ice time and he seems to be adjusting well to this new role with Detroit.

Detroit Red Wings center Andrew Copp (18) skates with the puck.
Detroit Red Wings center Andrew Copp (18) skates with the puck. / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Credit where credit is due: Andrew Copp has established himself in the last two months or so. He's started to really make me eat my words about his lack of fit with the Detroit Red Wings. It's been good to see him come into his own and start finding a way to impact the team night in and night out.

The Detroit Red Wings should be more than happy with how things have gone for Copp as of late. I'll admit, I wrote back in January that his contract could look ugly, and right around that point, he really tapped into some offense and went on a tear.

I've been a big Copp critic since he was signed and struggled so much in his first season with the Red Wings. I was hopeful for more and expecting more offense from the forward, but he's starting to grow on me. A different role with the Red Wings is what helps him find his niche role.

Locking up the core is important, especially after the team extended Michael Rasmussen. Copp is still under contract for the next three seasons, with a $5.625 million annual value on that contract. I'll die on the hill that Compher will be the better player by a mile, and Copp gets more money (barely, but still), but Copp has been solid this season.

Detroit Red Wings forward Andrew Copp might have found his niche.

In 2023-24, Copp has played in 54 games with ten goals and 15 assists for 25 total points. He's also a plus-three, in case any folks still put a ton of stake into that. However, it should be noted that he's surpassed his 2022-23 season total for goals and is on his way toward eclipsing the point total for last year.

He's averaged just 16:36 of ice time each night. It's lower than his usage in 2022-23, but frankly, that's okay. It feels like a bottom-six role has started to look more likely. But, with the production looking like it's ticking upward on a season level compared to last year, it might not be the worst thing.

Copp's got three more seasons left, and paying your third-line center $5.625 million a year is not the most fun; it could be the way for the Red Wings to get as much value from Copp as possible. After all, maximizing value with his contract will be crucial, and he has a chance to be solid in a bottom-six role.

There's still plenty of season left, and Copp must keep pushing. But he's looked good in this third-line role, being more of a bottom-six or middle-six role. It will be interesting to see how he performs down the stretch, but this role he's taken on in 2023-24 is solid for him.