The Athletic’s Bultman makes 2022 Red Wings predictions

The Athletic’s Max Bultman makes 8 Red Wings-related hockey predictions this morning, attempting to discern the Red Wings’ future personnel moves and overall team performance:

Nick Leddy is traded: The trade deadline is still nearly three months away, but already, it’s becoming clear who the Red Wings’ No. 1 trade chip will be. Leddy has given the Red Wings some much-needed mobility from the back end, but his actual on-ice results have been mixed, making him easy enough for Detroit to part with when teams inevitably start looking for playoff reinforcements. There are other pending UFA left-shot ‘D’ who will get more attention — including 2019 Norris Trophy winner Mark Giordano and Canadiens playoff horse Ben Chiarot — but Leddy has the blend of offensive upside and playoff experience to make him a commodity this spring.

Could Detroit get back the second-round pick they shelled out for him this summer? Leddy’s eight points in 31 games have been a bit underwhelming, but it’s at least plausible because of his track record — especially if Detroit helps the acquiring team by retaining some salary. The Islanders were also facing cap pressure when they moved Leddy this summer, which the Red Wings assuredly are not. They don’t have to move him at all, particularly if they keep hanging around the postseason picture, but the guess here is someone will step up and make a reasonable offer that Yzerman accepts.

Dylan Larkin finishes 2021-22 with a career-high 33 goals and signs a contract extension this offseason: While the instant impact of Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider has been the dominant story of the Red Wings 2021-22 season, not far behind has been a career year from Larkin. His 15 goals through 29 games have him on pace for just about 40 this season, and while his 18 percent shooting percentage (nearly double his career average) suggests that pace will slow, he still stands a chance of topping his career high of 32 — especially if Detroit coach Jeff Blashill keeps him slotted between Raymond and Tyler Bertuzzi.

This kind of bounce-back has been exactly what the Red Wings needed from their captain after a quieter season last year. Larkin once again looks like a legit No. 1 center, and with Detroit suddenly appearing much closer to postseason contention than before this season, his up-tempo, full-ice game is only going to become more important for the Red Wings. And soon, it’s going to be time to extend him.

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

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