Defense - DET
Goals: 4 | Assists: 19 | Pts: 23
Shots: 84 | +/-: 10
– With training camp less than a week away, the Red Wings and restricted free agent defenseman Danny DeKeyser
hope they can get a fair and equitable contract signed soon.
DeKeyser seems confident that the two sides will reach a deal soon. For the last month, he has regularly attended the team’s voluntary off-ice workouts and practices at Joe Louis Arena.
“I think there’s still some time left here before camp,” he said. “So obviously I don’t want to miss that, miss anything like that so hopefully we can come to something here pretty soon.”
The 24-year-old DeKeyser is coming off his first full NHL season with the Red Wings, where he produced four goals and 23 points in 65 regular-season games. He led all league rookies in average shifts per game (30.1) while logging more than 21 ½ minutes of ice time per game.
DeKeyser led all Wings’ defensemen with a plus-10 rating, and was second with 116 blocked seconds, which was third among league rookies Tampa Bay’s Radko Gudas (138) and Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba (132).
It’s been about a week since DeKeyser’s agent and Red Wings general manager Ken Holland last spoke. But DeKeyser is hopeful that the two sides will reconvene prior to this weekend.
“I think a lot of times stuff like this just takes some time,” he said. “Hopefully we get it ironed out soon.”
DeKeyser was a high commodity following his junior collegiate season at Western Michigan University in 2013. Every NHL club lined up to signed the undrafted free agent, but DeKeyser, who graduated high school from DeLaSalle Collegiate in suburban Warren, chose the hometown team.
He made his NHL debut toward the end of the lockout-shortened season in 2013, and played in the final 11 games with one assist.
Despite some time on injured reserve with a sprained shoulder, last season was a huge development year for DeKeyser, who definitely wants to continue that growth.
“Nobody wants to miss the start of the season and all the guys are pretty much back in town and it’s good to have the team back,” DeKeyser said. “It’s good to start practicing again so nobody wants to miss out on that.”