Potential 2020-21 Detroit Red Wings Bounce-Back or Breakout Candidates

Welcome to the latest series here at Last Word on Hockey. Each day, we will take a look at a new team and examine three of their potential breakout or bounce-back players. These players have the chance to make a serious difference with their teams this upcoming season. These players can be new faces or familiar ones looking to have a strong return to form. Each day we will be looking at a different team! Today we will take a look at the potential 2020-21 Detroit Red Wings key players. 

2020-21 Detroit Red Wings Candidates

Bobby Ryan

Bobby Ryan signed a one-year deal with the Red Wings at the start of the offseason after the Ottawa Senators bought out his contract. Last year, Ryan scored eight points in 22 games with the Senators. As the winner of the Bill Masterton trophy, Ryan fought adversity every step of the way last season while never giving up. While his buyout may be a red flag to potential suitors, Ryan’s current $1 million, one-year contract is practically a no-brainer for the value he provides.

Reasons for Optimism

While Ryan’s best days are behind him, he’s absolutely capable of putting up a solid 45-50 point season playing on the Red Wings’ second line. Additionally, Ryan’s Masterton trophy win shows that he understands what it means to fight an uphill battle. His story of struggling with adversity will allow him to serve as a wonderful locker room presence for young players. With the Red Wings inching closer to the rebuild by the minute, Ryan’s influence on the budding roster will be a wonderful boon for the entirety of the 2020-2021 season.

Danny DeKeyser

Next on the list is Red Wings familiar Danny DeKeyser. Last year, injuries held DeKeyser to only eight games in 2019-20. The defensive defenceman suffered a back injury, preventing him from contributing to the Red Wings’ play last season. He’ll look to bounce back on the top defensive pairing alongside young Filip Hronek. While DeKeyser just turned 30 this past season, he’s still a key piece of the Red Wings’ defence and will be for the foreseeable future.

Reasons for Optimism

Despite injury concerns, DeKeyser is poised to be a perfect bounce-back candidate for the 2020-2021 season. DeKeyser is the Red Wings’ best defenceman by a wide margin. He’s an incredibly responsible player, giving his linemates some room to breathe with great play on the back end. He elevates the play of fellow blueliner Filip Hronek, allowing him to learn mistakes as he grows into a stronger player. In the future, DeKeyser will serve as an excellent mentor to Moritz Seider and other young Red Wings.

Filip Zadina

Filip Zadina finally got his big break in the 2019-20 season, where he earned a full-time roster spot in the last few weeks of the season. Zadina split his previous season between the Grand Rapids Griffins and the Red Wings, scoring 16 points in 21 games in the AHL and 15 points in 28 in the NHL. He looks to be a key part of the Red Wings’ rebuild as he grows into his dynamic offensive potential. Currently, Zadina is on loan in the Czech League, where he has flexed his dominant scoring muscles on many a goalie.

Reasons for Optimism

The 2020-2021 season is the perfect opportunity for Zadina to grab the NHL by the reins. He will slot on the Red Wings’ second line alongside Vladislav Namestnikov and either Ryan or Robby Fabbri. Linemates like Fabbri will provide a boost of offensive assistance, letting Zadina get creative with his shooting and passing. At just 20 years of age, Zadina has a ways to go before he reaches his talent ceiling. Over the next few years of the rebuild, he will only get better and stronger, reaching higher and higher point totals.

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