Name: Danny Dekeyser
Born: Macomb, MI 3/7/90
GP : 82
Danny DeKeyser came into the season fresh off a six-year, $30-million extension. (Here are some comparable defenseman with his cap hit per Cap Friendly) With that, DeKeyser instantly became someone on defense that the Red Wings needed to be a rock and one of its best player on the blueline. DeKeyser struggled all season and didn’t look like a player who a team should have committed a $30 million contract to. He wasn’t able to spark the power play, as we’ll get into more below and he left many wondering can he really be a top pair defenseman in this league?
What He Did vs. Expectation
The first important note, is DeKeyser recorded zero points on the power play, this after head coach Jeff Blashill in January was looking for him to be the power play QB and to get it going. He didn’t. This was at a time when the Wings’ PP was last in the NHL at 11.1% and that is a red flag. Lets face it, with Mike Green entering the final year on his deal and a prime trade bait candidate if the team is not in the playoff race next season (or even sooner) DeKeyser is the guy the needs to step up the most and be a staple on the blueline. General manager Ken Holland, has been trying to upgrade the defense for years and this summer will be no different, but as we have seen there are no guarantees that any significant help will be arriving. The expectation fresh off a new deal was that the defense would start to take steps to be DeKeyser’s defense and that didn’t happen.
Final Grade: F
DeKeyser, in my opinion fails this season. Holland put a lot of faith into him and the expectations rose tremendously with the contract as it should. What they want him to become is clear and he didn’t pass the first test when the team needed him to step up the most. The best thing for the Red Wings is that DeKeyser does improve and does blossom into the defenseman they want him to be. The best thing that can help him is Holland acquiring a number one defenseman, which again is hard to do and taking pressure off DeKeyser so he can simplify things and possible be paired with this player to help elevate his game.
What Grade Should Danny DeKeyser Receive?
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