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Way-Too-Early Grades for New Detroit Red Wings

Dan DeKeyser and Stephen Weiss celebrate an overtime goal against Carolina.
Dan DeKeyser and Stephen Weiss celebrate an overtime goal against Carolina.Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Daniel WilliamsContributor IIIOctober 15, 2013

The Detroit Red Wings have skated in six regular-season games so far, and their biggest newcomers are settling in.

Daniel Alfredsson, Stephen Weiss and rookie defenseman Dan DeKeyser are the newer faces that look to contribute their services and help Detroit reach the playoffs for a 23rd consecutive season.

Although DeKeyser played with Detroit last season, this is his first full season and official rookie campaign.

Here is a look at their early season grades.

 

Daniel Alfredsson: B

Daniel Alfredsson was the first big chip to fall for the Red Wings during the offseason, giving Detroit a right-handed shot that has been much-needed for some time. His signing marked the end of an era in Ottawa and was a tough decision for Alfredsson to make, as Helene St. James tweeted.

"Alfie" started the year on the second line with Johan Franzen and Stephen Weiss but has moved to the third line for the last two games. He has manned the point on the first power-play unit alongside Niklas Kronwall and it is where he's done most of his damage.

He hasn't scored a goal yet this season but has amassed a team-high five assists, three of which on the power play. In Monday’s matinee victory over the Boston Bruins Alfredsson set up Dan Cleary from behind the Boston net for what ultimately stood as the game-winning goal.

His plus-minus currently stands at a minus-two, but if his four points in the last two games are any indicator, he'll improve on that in no time.

 

Stephen Weiss: C+

After eight seasons with the Florida Panthers, Stephen Weiss was allowed to test free agency and Detroit appeared to be the perfect fit, per St. James the day he signed.

In his first six games in a Red Wings uniform, Weiss has just two goals. Those goals, however, have been in big situations in some tight games. His first was the game-winner over the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime on Oct. 4, and the second was a go-ahead goal in Boston on Monday.

He has started the year centering Detroit’s second line, primarily with Johan Franzen and Daniel Alfredsson. When Alfredsson was moved to the third line on Oct. 12, Justin Abdelkader took his spot. He has also centered the second power-play unit.

Weiss has played well, but the numbers don't quite show it. Just two points in six games is a slow start, but he's also had two goals disallowed. He is a minus-two on the season but was on the ice for all four goals against in Detroit's 4-2 loss to Phoenix on Oct. 10.

Detroit signed Weiss in order to fill the hole left by Valtteri Filppula's departure when the two sides couldn't agree on a new contract. It has been a slow start for Weiss, but there is still plenty of hockey left to play, and he's sure to get ample opportunities.

 

Dan DeKeyser: A-

Dan DeKeyser is ready for his first full NHL season.
Dan DeKeyser is ready for his first full NHL season.Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Dan DeKeyser starts this season with experience already under his belt. He did play 11 regular-season games and two postseason games with Detroit last year, but this marks his official rookie campaign and first full year at the NHL level.

Playing alongside Jakub Kindl, DeKeyser has been steady, and his success is subtle. He hasn't registered a point, but he is a plus-two and he brings good skill with the puck, a remarkable hockey IQ and solid penalty killing.

At 23 years old he, won't be seeing an exorbitant amount of ice time, but he is sound fundamentally and a staple on the blue line for years to come. However, with Brendan Smith as a healthy scratch for the last two games, it is possible DeKeyser will be promoted to top-four time and responsibility.

These three bring numerous talents to an already exciting hockey club. They each have their own ambitions and responsibilities with their new team, but they all have their sights set on the Stanley Cup as their common goal.

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