Red Wings Role Call is assessing every player who held a significant place in the fortunes of the 2021-22 Detroit Red Wings season. We’ll be looking at the highs and lows they experienced during the just-completed campaign, as well as what the future holds for them in Detroit. Today, we feature defenseman Olli Juolevi
2021-22 totals (GP-G-A-P): 8-0-0-0
With Red Wings
Contract Status: Restricted free agent
When Olli Juolevi was claimed off waivers from the Florida Panthers, he made it clear that he just wanted a real chance to prove he could play. With the Florida Panthers throwing all of their energy into trying to win the Stanley Cup, they only had time for proven players. That wasn’t Juolevi.
“I’m still a young guy, so I want to play hockey. Sitting in the stands or playing 6-8 minutes a night, that’s not even good for you,” Juolevi said. “So that’s why I’m excited here. I really want to show what I got.”
Detroit’s squad had injuries, and knew they would move defensemen at the trade deadline. It seemed like a good roll of the dice to pick up a player who was drafted 5th in the 2016 draft.
But it didn’t work out the way Juolevi hoped. He only played eight games with Detroit.
— Ryan Hana (@RyanHanaWWP) March 6, 2022
2021-2022 Detroit Red Wings Highlights
Juolevi didn’t have a minus game in his last seven games for Detroit. He played a season-high 16:47 at Pittsburgh. The Penguins won 11-2 but Juolevi’s plus-minus was even in the game.
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) March 7, 2022
2021-22 Red Wings Lowlights
He never truly received much playing time, averaging under 11 minutes per game in his eight games. He just never managed to win over the coaches.
What Does His Detroit Future Hold?
Juolevi didn’t do enough to stay in Vancouver or Florida, and he probably hasn’t done enough to stay in Detroit. Would guess that the Red Wings don’t see him as part of their future. He’s 24 and a restricted free agent. The Red Wings will need roster spots for the young talent they have coming on defense.
Eight games isn’t a lengthy test of Juolevi’s abilities, but it may have long enough to tell the Red Wings what they need to know about Juolevi.