Fantasy Take: Red Wings Sign Kubalik

Alexander MacLean

2022-07-13

The Red Wings brought in another free agent, adding Dominik Kubalik who was strangely not tendered as an RFA in Chicago. He received a two-year contract worth $2.5 million per season.

What the Red Wings are getting:

Kubalik will be 26 by the time the season starts, and is just entering his prime. He's also right on the precipice of his breakout threshold, though the big inflation on his scoring may have to wait a year or two as he is likely going to end up stapled on the third line due to the Wings' sudden depth on… well, the wings.

Kubalik's IPP of over 70% in two of his three seasons shows that he can help carry a line. His deployment will likely be similar in Detroit as it was in Chicago, seeing 14 minutes per game with spotty power play time, and a slight lean towards more defensive zone draws than offensive zone ones more so because the team overall is still in the bottom-half (third?) of the league. As a left-handed shot, the fit does seem a little strange in Detroit where there is already a skew towards the lefties. It makes it less likely that he finds himself anywhere near the top power play unit, and more likely to be shuffled down the lineup than up.

Looking for a positive, he likes to shoot a lot off the rush, and that's something that can work well for a player who ends up taking more defensive zone draws, especially if he ends up playing with a few guys that are able to break out and transition the puck well on pass exits. This does feel like grasping at straws though for a player who paced for 55 points in each of his first two seasons, and dropped to 33 last year.

With the additions of Andrew Copp, David Perron, and the possible promotion of prospects Jonatan Berggren and Joe Veleno, it is going to be a crowded forward corps for the Red Wings this year. That kind of competition is great for the team, but makes projecting someone like Kubalik a little easier because the likelihood of him playing up in the lineup is getting smaller. That means, we'll likely see Kubalik on the third line with Pius Suter, especially since there is some familiarity from their days in Chicago.

Players this helps:

Pius Suter

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