NHL.com’s Nicholas J. Cotsonika discusses the successes of the Red Wings’ trio of rookies, Alex Nedeljkovic, Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider, this morning:
[Nedeljkovic] is tied for the lead in wins among rookie goalies (seven) with Jeremy Swayman of the Boston Bruins. Among those who have played more than six games, his save percentage is highest at .923, and his goals-against average is second-lowest at 2.58, behind Swayman (2.20 GAA in 11 games).
The best part? It’s still early, especially for Raymond and Seider.
“I’m trying to find my game, and I think I’m still learning, learning every day, trying to get better in the areas that are my weaknesses and always trying to improve my strengths,” Raymond said. “But I think overall I’m just trying to be an offensive forward who you can still count on defensively, who plays hard every night.”
[Red Wings coach Jeff] Blashill tries to strike a balance with Raymond, tempering expectations while giving high praise.
“I’m not going to get ahead of myself right now,” Blashill said. “Let’s see. He’s done a really good job so far. He’s a good player. There’s zero doubt. He plays the right way. When he’s been able to produce while also playing the right way, I think that’s the biggest key. … He doesn’t need to cheat to create offense, and so then he earns ice time.”
Blashill does much the same for Seider, praising his offensive instincts and swagger while not getting carried away.
“My thing with Moritz is, like any winning hockey player, just make sure that that offense comes in an efficient manner without big risk, especially on the back end,” he said. “I don’t know what his upside is offensively. I guess we’ll let him prove it on a night-to-night basis.”