The Detroit Red Wings told defenseman Danny DeKeyser they wanted to him to get bigger and stronger during the summer, and he responded by adding five pounds. The hope is the extra weight makes him stronger and better equipped to handle forechecking forwards in the Detroit zone.
30 IN 15 SEASON PREVIEW PACKAGE
This month, NHL.com will put two NHL teams in the preview spotlight each day with a package of stories providing an in-depth look at the roster and potential fortunes as the 2014-15 season approaches. SEE SCHEDULE ›
DeKeyser, who's 6-foot-3, said his weight is up to 195 pounds.
"It's just kind of eating nonstop for me," he told the Detroit Free Press. "Every time I can get a protein shake or get some food in me, that's what I've got to do."
Coach Mike Babcock said, according to the Free Press, that he wants DeKeyser to "get more comfortable, seeing things better on the offensive blue line, being error-free, airtight, playing against the best players, not getting worn down during the year."
Now that DeKeyser has gotten bigger physically, the Red Wings hope his offensive numbers grow as well.
DeKeyser was second among Red Wings defensemen last season with 23 points in 65 games. He also was plus-10 while averaging 21:28 of ice time. That's not bad for someone in his first full professional season, but DeKeyser believes he can contribute even more in 2014-15.
"I think I can add some more offense, jump up in the play a little more," he said. "Maybe get some more pucks through from the point, stuff like that. That's definitely something I'll work on."