One of the players who came into the 2023-24 season with a bit of a chip on his shoulder was Ben Chiarot. The left-handed shooting defenseman signed a four-year, $19 million contract to join the Detroit Red Wings before the 2022-23 season, coming to the team with hopes of boosting the defense core.
The Detroit Red Wings gave him that four-year deal, but he has yet to see him amount to a whole lot. In 2023-24, he has been better, but overall, he has not been the best defender out there. He could be better, but this year has been a step in the right direction.
He still has room to improve, but after a really underwhelming first year in Detroit, he has improved. That sounds like a lot to say he has improved when there are still some glaring holes in his game. But it's true since there have been times when he has stepped up and helped a defense core.
Even with the Red Wings defensive corps struggling as a whole, Chiarot has stepped up at times. He has not been perfect and has struggled through games at times. But it's good to see him finding ways to improve his caliber of play for the Red Wings.
Detroit Red Wings defender Ben Chiarot has been better in year two.
When it comes to Chiarot's performance, things could have been a lot better. He has to be more well-rounded in the defensive zone. In his first year, there were a lot of gaps in his caliber of play. He played in 76 games, where he managed five goals and added 14 assists for 19 total points.
Chiarot was a minus-31 while posting Corsi ratings about 12.2% below the team's overall average. Indeed, there is room to improve, and while things are not significantly better in the Corsi department, things have been better. He's a plus-three and has at least been able to play better defense at times.
In 2023-24, Chiarot played 45 games, missing some time in January with an injury. But he is slated to get back on the ice as the team returns from the All-Star Break. He has three goals and nine assists for 12 total points this season with the Red Wings.
It's up and down with Chiarot's performance. Sometimes, his performance level has been good, and he looks the part in the defensive zone. But there have been collapses at times where he's out of position and allows the opposition to pile on the offense.
The Red Wings should be able to look at Chiarot in terms of what he has been able to improve on. His first year could have been better, where he struggled defensively and was not the best defender in the defense core. However, he's improved this year and has been better under the circumstances.
His "B-" is more on the the fact that he has improved. While he could still be better about living up to his contract value, it's worth noting that he has been able to perform at a higher level.
On top of that, he has been out injured. Leading into the break, he missed time but should be able to get back on the ice down the stretch in the team's remaining 32 games.