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 Jordan Oesterle
2021-22 totals (GP-G-A-P): 45-2-6-8
Contract Status: One year remaining at $1.35M AAV
Oesterle is a local product who finally returned home. His role ended up being more of depth work than a regular workload. With some of it being the odd man out at times, Oesterle would find a groove in the middle of the season. While his role was slightly below what he and the Red Wings initially envisioned, Oesterle provides depth for a team with a lot of question marks heading into the offseason–especially on defense.
2021-22 Red Wings Highlights
His first goal as a Red Wing came as a game winner in overtime and also a celebration enjoyed by the fanbase this season.
— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) February 1, 2022
2021-22 Red Wings Lowlights
Against Arizona during a brutal 9-2 loss, Oesterle was one of many Red Wings who didn’t have the best of evenings. Beyond the -4 for the evening, Oesterle logged the least amount of ice time among defenseman.
What Does His Detroit Future Hold?
At an AAV of $1.35M, he’s hardly breaking the bank and will be another veteran to lean on with what should be an improved defense corps next season. Oesterle initially looked to have a bigger role in Detroit, but it appeared at times that Jeff Blashill was reluctant to lean on him too much. Danny DeKeyser would often get the nod, but heading into next season, it’s likely DeKeyser is out and Oesterle could have a slightly bigger role.
Blashill would give the Dearborn Heights native more ice time, citing much of his comfort in Oesterle’s growing confidence.
“I think what allows him to be successful in the role that he’s in is that he’s been able to maintain his confidence,” Blashill said. “He hasn’t let my decisions at times to not play him shake his confidence. I think that’s a huge thing for these guys and especially for guys that aren’t getting top minutes or in the lineup every night. You gotta find ways to not let other people’s decisions affect you and keep your confidence up.”
While a third pairing is the likeliest of options, his low cap hit makes him expendable should Steve Yzerman seek out suitors. It’s an offseason that will certainly see some new names and faces. But Oesterle should be a familiar one, providing veteran leadership and steady minutes unless a drastic change occurs.