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Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports

By the numbers: Red Wings’ youth movement shines during recent 10-game stretch

After 20 games, the Detroit Red Wings have pushed their way out of the depths of the NHL standings. They have just 20 points in 20 games but winning eight of their last 10 games has helped them accumulate points that were hard to come by at the beginning of October.

And while it’s true that Jimmy Howard has been one of the big reasons why the Red Wings have racked up some points, as our own Nick Seguin pointed out here, it’s also the youth movement that has shown up on the scoresheet, which wasn’t nearly as prevalent last season.

Breaking down the last 10 games, here are the players age 24 and younger who have scored.

Nov. 17 at NJ, W, 3-2 OT

Tyler Bertuzzi: 2 assists

Dylan Larkin: 1 goal

Michael Rasmussen: 1 goal

Anthony Mantha: 1 assist

Dennis Cholowski: 1 assist

Nov. 15 at OTT, L, 2-1

Rasmussen: 1 goal

Nov. 13 vs. ARI, W, 6-1

Andreas Athanasiou: 1 goal, 1 assist

Mantha: 1 goal

Rasmussen: 1 goal

Cholowski: 1 goal

Bertuzzi: 1 assist

Larkin: 1 assist

Nov. 10 at CAR, W, 4-3 SO

Athanasiou: 1 goal, 1 assist

Mantha: 2 goals

Larkin: 1 assist

Nov. 9 vs. NYR, W, 3-2 OT

Athanasiou: 1 goal, 1 assist

Larkin: 1 goal

Nov. 6 vs. VAN, W, 3-2 SO

Jacob de La Rose: 1 assist

Nov. 3 vs. EDM, L, 4-3

Bertuzzi: 1 goal

de La Rose: 1 goal

Larkin: 1 assist

Rasmussen: 1 assist

Nov. 1 vs. NJ, W, 4-3

Larkin: 2 assists

Rasmussen: 1 goal

Cholowski: 1 assist

Oct. 30 at CBJ, W, 5-3

Larkin: 2 goals, 1 assist

Bertuzzi: 1 goal

Rasmussen: 1 goal

Mantha: 1 goal

Cholowski: 1 goal

Oct. 28 vs. DAL, W, 4-2

Bertuzzi: 1 goal

Larkin: 2 assists

Mantha: 1 goal

***

If you’re bad at math, here’s a breakdown of each player.

Larkin: 4 goals, 8 assists

Mantha: 5 goals, 1 assist

Rasmussen: 5 goals, 1 assist

Bertuzzi: 3 goals, 3 assists

Athanasiou: 3 goals, 3 assists

Cholowski: 1 goal, 3 assists

de la Rose: 1 goal, 1 assist

For more context, 22 out of the 34 goals (64.7 percent) scored during the past 10 games have been by those 24 and under, and the youngsters are averaging 2.1 points per game. Players 24 and younger accounted for just 35.8 percent of the goals last season. Obviously, you can’t compare a 10-game stretch this year to 82 last season, but so far this season, 65.5 percent of the goals have come from those 24 and under.

Note: There are only seven players 24 and younger currently on the roster, but the Red Wings began this season with 11 players under 24.

Now, let’s see how they’ve done throughout the season.

2018-19 (Through 20 games)

Players 24 and younger (11): 36 goals, 38 assists, 3.7 points per game

Players 25 and older (15): 19 goals, 59 assists, 3.85 points per game

Compare that to last season, and you can see a big improvement.

2017-18

Players 24 and younger (9): 76 goals, 131 assists, 2.52 points per game

Players 25 and older (18): 136 goals, 232 assists, 4.49 points per game

You may have noticed the veterans are racking up the assists this season, which makes sense when you account for the fact five of the six defensemen on the starting lineup are over 24 years old; defensemen tend to pick up a lot of assists, especially secondary assists. Mike Green‘s return, for instance, has helped Detroit produce offensively.

Obviously, having more younger players and less older players is part of the reason for the dramatic shift, but it’s also the rate at which the younger players are scoring. Athanasiou is on pace for 35 goals, Larkin is on pace for 32, Mantha is on pace for 24, Bertuzzi is on pace for 20, Rasmussen is on pace for 20, Cholowski is on pace for 13 and de La Rose is on pace for 10.

That’s a far cry from last year when Mantha was the only one to break 20 goals. Of course, I don’t expect each player to hit their pace. In fact, I would be happy if just one of them outside of de La Rose hit their mark, but it shows how much they’ve improved compared to last season.

The new guard is starting to establish itself in Detroit, and there surely will be some dry spells throughout the season, but year-over-year improvement is a good step in the right direction for the Red Wings youth.

  • D-Boss

    Bertuzzi has been SOLID this year and Rasmussen is finally finding his way. Exciting times, especially with Cholowski’s surprise performance on the back end.