Six games into the NHL season, Detroit Red Wings rookies Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider are delivering the goods as advertised. They were selected in the NHL entry draft to be franchise players. Their billing was as building blocks for a better future.
So far, so good. In fact, very good.
Right winger Raymond (4-3-7) and defenseman Seider (0-5-5) rank 1-2 in the NHL among rookie scorers. Seider (21:52) leads all NHL rookies in time on ice. Lucas Raymond is skating on Detroit’s top forward line. The 19-year-old’s four-point game Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks gave him a share of the club single-game scoring mark by a teenager. Also in that group are Red Wings legends Steve Yzerman and Gordie Howe. Moritz Seider, 20, is skating in Detroit’s top defensive pairing.
For sure, it’s early, At the same time, it’s already intriguing to speculate where this dynamic duo might ultimately rank among the top rookie tandems in Red Wings history.
1991-92: Nicklas Lidstrom/Vladimir Konstantinov
Launching a Hall of Fame career that would see him win seven Norris Trophies, Lidstrom tied Red Wings rookie marks for points by a defenseman (60) and assists (49). He shares the latter mark with fellow Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne. Konstantinov posted 8-26-34 numbers. He was an NHL Second All-Star Team choice in 1995-96.
1990-91: Sergei Fedorov/Johan Garpenlov
Fedorov ended up finishing second on the team with 38-41-79 numbers. He would be the Hart Trophy winner in 1993-94. Garpenlov’s final rookie tally of 18 goals was including a club rookie-record four-goal game on November 23, 1990 against the St. Louis Blues.
1985-86: Bob Probert/Petr Klima/Adam Oates
The Red Wings went three-deep in quality rookies. The season saw Klima scoring 32 goals. His 44 games saw Probert collecting 21 points and 186 PIM. In 1987-88, Probert would play in the NHL All-Star Game. That season his finishing totals were including 19 goals and a club-record 398 PIM. Future HHOF Oates scored nine goals.
1983-84: Steve Yzerman/Lane Lambert
Assembling the greatest rookie campaign in franchise history, current GM Yzerman was dominant. His output of goals (39), points (87) and power-play goals (13) remain club rookie standards. Lambert was a 20-goal scorer as a rookie.
1979-80: Mike Foligno/John Orgrodnick
Foligno and Ogrodnick were both jumping directly from junior to the pros. Foligno’s 36 goals were a Red Wings rookie record until Stevie Y came along. Johnny O posted 32 points in 41 games. Scoring 55 goals in 1984-85, Ogrodick established a club mark for left-wingers.
1977-78 Dale McCourt/Reed Larson
The 1977 first overall draft pick, McCourt posted team-leading 33 goals and 72 points. He potted three hat-tricks. Larson’s 60 points are a Red Wings rookie mark for defensemen that he shares with Lidstrom. Larson’s 27 goals in 1980-81 are a team standard for rearguards.
1950-51: Terry Sawchuk/Marcel Pronovost/Alex Delvecchio
A trio of Hall of Fame rookies, though it should be noted Delvecchio made his choice of turning pro right at the end of the season. Sawchuk established Red Wings rookie records for wins (44) and shutouts (11). Already a Stanley Cup winner in 1949-50, Pronovost played his first NHL regular-season games in 1950-51.
1947-48: Red Kelly/Marty Pavelich
It was Red Wings center and 24-goal scorer Jim McFadden who’d win the 1947-48 Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie. However, Kelly and Pavelich ended up continuing on to be legendary Red Wings. Kelly won the first Norris Trophy in 1953-54. Pavelich was a key checking line cog on four Detroit Stanley Cup winners.
1938-39: Sid Abel/Jack Stewart
The Yzerman of his era, Abel captained the team for several seasons, won three Cups and was made GM when the Red Wings were foundering. Stewart was a tough-as-nails defenseman. A five-time NHL All-Star, he led the NHL in penalty minutes in 1942-43. Neither were rookie sensations, mind you. Abel collected 1-1-2 totals in 15 games. Stewart chalked up a solitary assist in 32 games.