The Detroit Red Wings are first and foremost when it comes to NHL first-year performers.
As part of the festivities for the upcoming NHL All-Star weekend, the league announced its all-star break NHL All-Star Rookie Team. And 50 percent of the six players on the team wear the Winged Wheel on the front of their jerseys.
Defenseman Moritz Seider, left-winger Lucas Raymond and goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic were all named to the six-player squad.
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Just 19, Raymond leads all NHL rookies in scoring with 35 points. He’s also skated the most average ice time of any first year forward. Raymond logs 18:05 per game.
“With him and with Mo, they both play with a confidence and a swagger that they can get the job done and they can perform at a high level, even if it is their first year in the league,” Nedeljkovic said. “Which is great, which is what you want to see.”
Seider is leading all rookie defensemen with 29 points. Dishing out 25 assists, that number is also topping all first-year players, as is Seider’s average time on ice of 22:39 per game. His 12 power-play points are also the best rookie total in the league.
“He’s creating a bunch and not giving up much,” Red Wings coach Blashill said of Seider. “He’s had big impacts in a number of games.”
A Calder Trophy finalist last season with the Carolina Hurricanes, Nedeljkovic still qualifies as a rookie because he only played in 23 games during that campaign. Acquiring him in a trade last summer, in Detroit he’s earned the role as No. 1 goaltender.
“I think to win in this league you need great goaltending,” Blashill said. “He’s given us that on a night to night basis.”
Red Wings Nedeljkovic a 2021 Calder Trophy Finalist
This season, Nedeljkovic is leading all rookie netminders in appearances (33), starts (30), wins (13) and saves (992).
Rounding out the NHL All-Star Rookie Team are Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras, Nashville Predators left-winger Tanner Jeannot and Washington Capitals defenseman Martin Fehervary.
Jeannot leads all NHL rookies with 13 goals. Zegras is second among rookie scorers with 32 points. Fehervary’s plus-15 rating is the best among all rookie defensemen.