By Brandon Fitzpatrick @bfitzsports on June 16, 2014
The Detroit Red Wings have been the steadiest franchise in the NHL over the past two decades. They have great organizational structure, always draft well and have one of the best coaches around. It is no surprise that they have not missed the playoffs once over the past 23 seasons. The Red Wings were battered by injuries this year, but a bunch of young players showed they could play in this league. Here are five players to build around in 2014.
Tomas Jurco was a second round draft pick by the Red Wings back in 2011. He played 36 games in the NHL this year, recording eight goals and fifteen points. He is only 21 years old, and has the chance to be a productive 50-60 point scorer in the NHL.
The Wings have a history of having terrific defenders, from Nicklas Lidstrom to Chris Chelios. Danny DeKeyser might not be as good as those two, but he is the future of the back end for the team. He isn't very big or fast, but takes care of his own end and is starting to develop more offense. Every team, especially teams in the Eastern Conference, usually have one solid, steady defenseman, and DeKeyser could be that player for the Red Wings.
Riley Sheahan is another one of the young forwards that the Red Wings have. In 42 games, Sheahan recorded 9 goals and 15 assists. Sheahan also boasts great possession numbers, something teams pay more attention to nowadays. He was drafted in the first round in 2010, and is still only 22 years old. He has the potential to be a very good two-way forward in the NHL if he continues to develop.
Following with the theme of young, skilled forwards, Tomas Tatar has the potential to be a very special player for the Red Wings. He registered 20 goals and 39 points this year, while being a solid possession player with a 5.1 percent corsi relative. That means when he is on the ice, the team gets more shot attempts than they would without him. He has so much potential and could end up being a very good player for years to come.
The main catalyst for the Red Wings this season was Gustav Nyquist, as he turned his game to a different level after the olympic break. Nyquist only played 57 games, but he scored 28 goals and 48 points in those games. He has unbelievable hands, and he could be the next coming of Pavel Datsyuk.
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