Xavier Ouellet Re-Signs with Detroit Red Wings

Defenseman Xavier Ouellet signed a two year, $2.5 million contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings. His contract has an AAV or Caphit of $1.25 million per year. Ouellet has spent the first four years of his career with the Detroit Red Wings, playing most of his time in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Xavier Ouellet Re-Signs With Detroit Red Wings

Ouellet was left off the Red Wings protection list for the Vegas Golden Knights for their expansion draft on June 21st, but the team elected to go for AHLer Tomas Nosek instead of any major roster player. I had him on my expansion list as part of an expansion series done pre-draft. Turning 24 on July 29th, Ouellet will be looking to build off of his first full season in the NHL as he supplants aging veterans such as Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson. The big question will be his staying power. On a below-average (putting it lightly) defense, the chances of that are high.

Before this campaign, the former second round pick (48th overall) from 2011 played a total of 30 NHL games scattered across the three years previous, scoring two goals and four points. During this time, he played 183 AHL games, scoring nine goals and 62 points, including a 29-point campaign in 2015-16. He has not been much of an offensive producer since his time in the QMJHL, where he scored 21 goals and 60 points in 2011-12 for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

This past season, Ouellet was one of the more consistent possession players on the Red Wings in terms of generating shot attempts-for, coming in at a 52.68 Corsi-for per 60 minutes while chipping in three goals and 12 points. However, his defensive game must come around in addition to his puck-moving, as a 54.84 Corsi-against per 60 won’t cut it with prospects in the system just waiting to pass him up. It was his first full season however, so the chance is here for him to prove himself on a consistent basis on both sides of the puck as a responsible 5th-6th defenseman while Joe Hicketts, Dennis Cholowski, and Vili Saarijarvi groom in Grand Rapids. He faces current competition in the forms of Ryan Sproul and Robbie Russo, looking to translate their offense to a blueline that needs it desperately.

In terms of contract history, this is Ouellet’s second standard contract after his entry-level deal. He signed his first as a one-year deal last summer that paid him $715,000.

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