If you had to name the two Red Wings players most-responsible for the team even making the playoffs last season, which two would you pick? Now if you had to pick two Red Wings players who would be in the top 40 listed as “Breakout Players” by NHL Network, you’d be really likely to pick the same two players, right?
That’s where I’m at with both picks, and it’s not even close. Here’s where those two Red Wings players landed:
14. Petr Mrazek, G, Detroit Red Wings
Mrazek, 24, nearly doubled his career highs in games played (54, up from 29 in 2014-15) and starts (49, up from 26 in 2014-15). He started the majority of the games for the Red Wings and didn't disappoint; Mrazek won 27 games and had a 2.33 goals-against average (tied for 13th), a .921 save percentage (tied for 10th) and four shutouts.
Mrazek allowed two goals or fewer in 35 of 54 games, including a stretch in which he allowed two goals or fewer in 12 of 13 starts, going 9-2-2. He helped the Red Wings qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 25th consecutive season
Despite his high-ranking, Mrazek is the fifth goalie ranked on the list, behind Martin Jones at 3, Cup-winner Matt Murray at 5, Ducks starter John Gibson at 7, and Isles netminder Thomas Greiss at 12.
Mrazek won more games this season than Gibson and Greiss and I personally would have had him above both of them, but I’m also a Red Wings homer, so whatever.
19. Dylan Larkin, C, Detroit Red Wings
Larkin, 19, became the first teenager to be on the Red Wings' opening-night roster in 16 years when he suited up against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 9. He had a goal and an assist in that game and finished with seven multipoint games.
Larkin finished with 23 goals (third among rookies), and 45 points (sixth). He led the Red Wings in goals, finished tied for third in points and was first with a plus-11 rating. Larkin led Detroit with five game-winning goals and had four power-play goals.
Honestly, I don’t want to complain about where Larkin compares on this list because I enjoy that he’s #19.
If you missed the link above, you can find the entire list here.
What do you think? Should Mrazek have been higher? Should Larkin? Is Evgeny Kuznetsov the true #1 here? Let us know!