DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji examines checking line center Christoffer Ehn’s 2019-2020 season “By the Numbers” this morning.
The 24-year-old restricted free agent forward isn’t a big offensive contributor, but he’s one of my favorite bottom-six players because he works damn hard and maximizes his 6’3,” 195-pound frame to play a quietly efficient game. His aplomb as a third-and-fourth-line center afforded the Wings the ability to trade Jacob de la Rose for Robby Fabbri, and Ehn is still improving his game as he hits his mid-20’s.
Here’s Wakiji’s take on Ehn’s significant statistics from the 2019-2020 season
100 – On Feb. 1, Ehn played in his 100th career NHL game in a 1-0 loss to the New York Rangers at Little Caesars Arena, the same game in which Valtteri Filppula reached 1,000 games. Ehn finished the season with 114.
2 – In his 54 games, Ehn recorded two goals and two assists. The first goal came Dec. 10 in a 5-1 loss at Winnipeg. Ehn’s goal at 7:39 of the second period tied the game at the time, 1-1. Ehn also scored in the final game of the season, a 5-2 home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Ehn scored at 15:26 of the second, which tied the game at the time, 2-2. Ehn also had two penalty minutes.
36 – Ehn recorded 36 shots over the course of the season, 13 fewer than he had in the 2018-19 season. Larkin led the team with 223 shots.
10:25 – Ehn averaged 10:25 of ice time, just 12 seconds less than he averaged the previous season.
18 – Known more as a defensive player, Ehn had 18 blocked shots during the season. Defenseman Patrik Nemeth led the team with 92 blocks. Glendening led all forwards with 68 blocks.
Players like Ehn (who will probably be re-signed for around $1.25 million) and Kevin Bieksa (who the Wings extended this past February) aren’t “sexy” players by any stretch of the imagination, but that’s okay: every NHL team needs a strong supporting cast, and “bit players” can help determine whether a team wins or loses close games based upon consistent work ethic and leadership.
The Red Wings rather desperately need to add another top-four defenseman, top-six forward (preferably a center) and a back-up goalie heading into 2020-2021, but I’m not nearly as worried about the “back end” of the roster with players like Ehn and Biega in the mix.