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Rookie Sensations Seider, Raymond Remain A Positive Amidst Red Wings Mess

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Moritz Seider, Detroit Red Wings
Defenseman Moritz Seider and forward Lucas Raymond are the most productive Detroit Red Wings rookie tandem in over three decades of NHL play.

TSN’s Gord Miller was in Detroit on Friday, providing the play-by-play call for the Ottawa Senators game against the Red Wings. While doing so, he related an interesting tale from the 2019 world championship.

Miller was also calling those games for TSN and while watching a game between Germany and Slovakia that wasn’t being televised, he found himself seated next to Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, who was in charge of the USA Hockey bench during the tournament.

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As the action unfolded on the ice surface, German defenseman Moritz Seider stepped into a Slovakian puck carrier, spilling the player and making off with the disc.

“We sure could use someone like him,” Blashill said to Miller.

A month later at the NHL entry draft, Blashill’s wish would be granted when Detroit selected Seider sixth overall. And the Red Wings haven’t stopped smiling ever since.

Coupled with 2020 first-round pick Lucas Raymond, this dynamic duo of debutants remain the lone bright spot in a Red Wings season that is spiraling downward and out of control.

Raymond, Seider Delivering The Goods

Raymond (23-30-52) and Seider (5-39-44) are the workhorses for a Detroit rookie crop that has registered an NHL-leading 112 points. They have combined to collect points on 14 Red Wings goals. Even so, they’ve still figured in 82 of the 195 Red Wings goals this season. That’s a contribitution rate of 42.1%.

“They’ve been outstanding,” Wings forward Oscaar Sundqvist said. “I’m very impressed with what they bring to this team and how talented they are. They’re going to be two superstars in this league.

“It’s a lot of fun to be close to them and see them develop. I think they’re going to make Detroit fans excited for a lot of years.”

Wall? What Wall?

Oh, and all this talk about the rookies hitting the wall? This is news to them.

I never heard about that so it wasn’t really on my mind,” Raymond said. In fact, just four Detroit players have suited up for all 68 games this season – forwards Pius Suter and Sam Gagner and Seider and Raymond.

“I think if you do the right things out there it’s easier then if you try to chase things and get away from your game,” Raymond explained of their steadiness.

Only once in 68 games has Raymond gone as many as four games in a row without registering a point. He’s counted multiple points in 11 games.

Raymond is the first Detroit rookie to collect 20 goals since Dylan Larkin in 2015-16 (23). Larkin (45) was also the previous Red Wings rookie to garner 40 points. The current Detroit captain, Larkin is also Raymond’s linemate.

“I feel like his consistency has been great,” Gagner said of Raymond. “He’s a really mature kid and puts a lot of pressure on himself to succeed. He’s been fantastic for us all year and fun to watch.”

Seider has assembled point streaks of eight and five games. He’s enjoyed seven multi-point games.

“It feels like he’s got everything,” Sundqvist said. With his poise, it’s like he’s played in this league for 15-20 years. It’s impressive. He’s got everything.

“He’s going to be a really good player in this league for a long time.”

Seider is the first Detroit rookie rearguard with 40 points since Nicklas Lidstrom garnered 60 points in 1991-92. Recently hired as Detroit’s vice-president of hockey operations, Lidstrom is tutoring Seider.

Best Season for Red Wings Rookies since 1990-91

Detroit hasn’t witnessed productivity from a crop of first-year talent since the 1990-91 season. The Wings suited up 15 rookies that season, garnering an NHL-high 189 points. Leading the way was Calder Trophy runner-up Sergei Fedorov (38-41-79) and Johan Garpenlov (18-22-40). They were the previous rookie tandem to each crack the 40-point barrier.

Detroit Red Wings Best Rookie Tandems

Season First Rookie Second Rookie Total Points
1983-84 Steve Yzerman (87) Kelly Kisio (60) 147
1977-78 Dale McCourt (72) Reed Larson (60) 132
1990-91 Sergei Fedorov (79) Johan Garpenlov (40) 119
1979-80 Mike Foligno (71) John Ogrodnick (32) 103
1971-72 Marcel Dionne (77) Larry Johnston (24) 101
2021-22 Lucas Raymond (52) Moritz Seider (44) 96
1991-92 Nicklas Lidstrom (60) Vladimir Konstantinov (34) 94
1975-76 Michael Bergeron (59) Rick Lapointe (33) 92

Even so, their combined total of 119 points barely cracks the top three among Detroit rookie tandems.

Topping this list is the terrific twosome of current Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman (39-48-87) and Kelly Kisio (23-37-60) in 1983-84. They ended up combining for 147 points. That season also saw Lane Lambert collecting 20-15-35 numbers.

Center Dale McCourt (33-39-72) and defenseman Reed Larson (19-41-60) are next in the Red Wings rookie duo standard with 132 points in 1977-78. That was another banner campaign for rookies. Winger Paul Woods, the club’s current radio analyst, added 42 points.

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