Raymond, Seider give Red Wings Calder candidates, key building blocks

Things are lastly beginning to search for for the Detroit Red Wings.

They went into the 2021-22 season riding a five-year playoff dry spell, and while their continuous reconstruct is still quite a work in development that would apparently make the postseason a long shot, you can lastly see some indications of hope in the extremely future.

The majority of that hope is originating from novices Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider.

Not just are they appearing like early season Calder Prize competitors, they may be the foundation foundation the group requires to make its reconstruct a success.

For any reconstruct to work long-term you need to discover distinction makers. Gamers that can take control of a video game, manage a video game, and be the structure of your group for several years down the line. It does not always need to be a Sidney Crosby or a Connor McDavid (though that definitely assists if they are), however certainly an All-Star level gamer that is amongst the very best at their position.

Up previously, the Red Wings’ reconstruct had actually not actually produced that or anything near it.

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Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi are great gamers that will have a crucial area on a competing group. Very same chooses Jakub Vrana (when healthy) and Filip Hronek. However they are not actually gamers you construct a group around. Filip Zadina still has a ton of potential, but needs to take a step forward at some point.

Seider, the No. 6 overall pick in 2019, and Raymond, the No. 4 overall pick in 2020, might end up being those cornerstone players.

Both have seen their NHL careers get off to strong starts this season.

Seider, who was just named the NHL’s rookie of the month on Tuesday, is the player that Red Wings fans should actually be getting excited about given his position and the role he could play.

When the Red Wings picked him in 2019 there was a consensus that it was a bit of a reach and drew plenty of criticism from draft observers. That consensus has rapidly changed over the past year. Seider had a dominant 2020-21 season in Sweden (where he was named the league’s top defender) and has already become one of the Red Wings’ top gamers this season.

Entering play on Tuesday he is playing more than 22 minutes per game, has a group-leading eight assists, and is posting strong underlying numbers in terms of scoring chances, expected goals, and shot attempt differential, all of which have him among the team’s best players.

Look at any Stanley Cup winning roster and they all have two things: A top-tier center that can drive the offense, and a top-tier defender that can play in all situations and help control a game. While he may not be there just yet, Seider certainly has that capacity for the Red Wings.

Raymond, meanwhile, has been equally impressive at forward.

He enters Tuesday tied for the team lead in scoring with nine points in nine games and has been their best possession driver, with the Red Wings controlling 57% of the total shot attempts, 63% of the expected goals, 57% of the scoring chances, 54% of the high-danger scoring chances, and also owning a 7-2 goal differential with him on the ice during 5-on-5 play.

The current Red Wings roster is still lacking in depth and, at least on paper, is still pretty far behind the other contenders in their division and Eastern Conference. But they may finally have the type of gamers that can be the cornerstones of their next contending team in a couple of years. Those players are not only the most important to have actually, they are also the most difficult to find and it usually requires a lot of luck at the top of the draft to get them. The Red Wings might have found some of that luck. The continued development of Seider and Raymond, along with Zadina and Vrana when he returns, are going to be the most important things to watch for the Red Wings this season.

If they continue on their current trajectory the season will be a success no matter how many games they win or lose as a team. Because if their trajectory continues it ought to help lead to a lot more wins in the future.

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Adam Gretz is an author for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Raymond, Seider offer Red Wings Calder prospects, crucial foundation initially appeared on NBCSports.com

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.