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Rookies Still Delivering For Red Wings

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Moritz Seider, Detroit Red Wings
Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider is the NHL leader among rookies in assists and ice time.

The Detroit Red Wings might not lead the NHL in many categories. However, when it comes to rookie leaders, the Red Wings are a dominant force in the league.

With 12-25-37 totals, Detroit left-winger Lucas Raymond continues to lead all rookies in scoring. Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider is the NHL rookie leader in assists (27) and in average ice time (22:39). As well, goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic tops the NHL in wins (14), minutes (1960:50), games (35) and starts (32).

“Certainly when you add into your lineup rookies that have the impact that Seids and Lucas have had, you’re excited about that,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “With a young player, that means they’ve got an opportunity to be part of a core, not just right now but moving forward.

“I would say there’s a level of excitement within our players, certainly within our staff and with the fan base.”

Seider A Sensation

While there’s definitely a spectacular crop of first-year NHLers, when deciphering the Calder Trophy favorite, it’s hard to get past Seider as the obvious choice. He’s playing the toughest position on the ice to master. On top of that, he’s skating in Detroit’s top defense pairing, meaning that he’s logging his minutes defending against the best players in the NHL.

Seider was a powerful force in Wednesday’s 6-3 win at Philadelphia.

“There was times he was dominant,” Blashill said. “He certainly looked like a young guy with lots of confidence out there and really controlled the game at times.

“Certainly, he’s a guy who can control games like that and he did to a large degree for lots of the night.”

Red Wings Dominating The NHL

Detroit’s rookie crop goes deeper than this terrific trio. Joe Veleno is establishing himself as the team’s fourth-line center.

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All combined, Raymond, Seider (4-27-31) and Veleno (4-3-7) total up to an NHL-leading 75 points from rookies this season.

They were all contributing Wednesday as Detroit won in regulation time in a regular-season game at Philadelphia for the first time since Jan. 25, 1997.

Raymond tallied a goal and an assist. It was just his second time denting the twine in the past 24 games.

“For offensive players, they always feel better about themselves when they score, especially a young player,” Blashill said. “The good thing with Lucas is he knows he can make a positive impact without just judging himself on points. He does a lot of good things regardless if he’s scoring.

“He’s in a position on the top line, on the power play, to produce.”

Seider collected two assists and was plus-3. Veleno drew an assist. Alex Nedeljkovic made 21 saves for the victory.