Dave Reginek/Getty Images
2013-14 stats: 14 games played; one goal, nine assists; plus-nine
Best season: 2008-09—two goals, six goals, 45 assists; plus-15
Star characteristics: A year ago, Niklas Kronwall had a daunting task in front of him. He had to take over as the Red Wings' No. 1 defenseman because of the great Nicklas Lidstrom's retirement. Kronwall played well all season, and he grew into his leadership position.
That has continued this season. The security factor when Kronwall is on the ice may not be what it was when Lidstrom was in top form, but it is still quite high. Kronwall is a dominating and hard-hitting physical player who is averaging 22:26 of ice time per game.
Lidstrom is not huge at 6'0", 190 pounds, but he is among the hardest hitters in the league.
Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith is currently out of action with a shoulder injury. He plans on using his time to study Kronwall.
“I can watch Kronwall play the whole game," Kronwall told Ansar Khan of MLive.com. "He’s so fantastic, that’s a guy I’m going to try to imitate; how he makes plays in the corner, how he makes his passes, how he relaxes with the puck, simple things that I can pick up."
All attributes that make Kronwall a star.