• Dump & Chase Hockey League

Offseason Outlook: Detroit Red Wings


2018-19 Grade: F (Last year: D)

Is there a grade worse than F? Because the Red Wings deserve it for the disaster that was 2018-19. Detroit jettisoned anyone with talent in order to maximize their chances to select Jack Hughes in the draft. Unfortunately, luck was not on their side, as Detroit did not win a single lottery and ended up picking 4th overall. Woof.


No one. No one on Detroit deserves mentioning here.


There isn’t enough space in this short article to list the entire Detroit depth chart, so I’ll keep it short by saying this team sucked this year.

Keys to Success:

1.    Sign-and-trade

The Red Wings have a ton of cap space now and in the future, and very little in terms of talent on the way. With the ability to retain on 3 contracts, Detroit would be wise to sign some big fish this summer and flip them to contenders for picks.

2.    Patience

This team is going to be bad for a while. Detroit’s fan base is better served hopping on another team’s bandwagon for a couple seasons as their Red Wings stockpile picks and prospects. The only thing the Red Wings faithful have to look forward to is top-5 draft picks for the next 3-4 years.

3.    Draft Picks

The draft is the easiest way to inject talent into an organization. With a few valuable players still on the roster, the Red Wings have the opportunity to stockpile some picks for the 2020 draft and reinfuse their cupboards with talent. 

Top 3 Prospects:

Kirby Dach– Taken with the 3rd pick in the 2019 NHL draft by Chicago, Dach projects to be the impact centre Detroit sorely needs. Dach, 6’4”, is a highly-skilled two-way centre with exceptional hockey sense who is surprisingly shifty, despite his hulking stature. Projected DCHL Arrival: 2021-22

Nolan Foote– Detroit’s second pick in the first round of the DCHL draft, Foote immediately becomes their second-best prospect. The younger son of Avalanche Legend Adam Foote has the skill, size, and pedigree to be a solid NHL player. Fun fact: both of Foote’s boys were drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Projected DCHL Arrival: 2022-23

Brayden Tracey– Detroit’s first pick in the second round was the talented Tracey, who was taken 29th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in the NHL draft. Tracey has a quick shot, recognizes when passing lanes open, and plays with patience with the puck. Projected DCHL Arrival: 2022-23

2019-20 Outlook:

The Red Wings endured a very tough year in 2018-19, and things are not going to improve much this year. Despite the imminent dark times, the Red Wings have a quality pieces to build around. Kirby Dach and Lias Andersson project to be a formidable 1-2 punch, and Joonas Korpisalo appears to be getting his shot as a starter. The 2023-24 Red Wings project to be a tough team to play against.