The Grind Line: Predicting the Red Wings’ Leading Scorer of the 2020s

What’s The Grind Line? Apart from the once-famous line of Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, and either Joe Kocur or Darren McCarty, The Grind Line is also The Hockey Writers’ weekly column about the Detroit Red Wings. Rachel Anderson and Tony Wolak are the muckers who makeup THW’s forechecking unit and sound off on Red Wings topics.

New year, new Red Wings? Maybe not just yet, but the Red Wings are on a path to success under the watch of Steve Yzerman, who happened to lead the team in scoring during the 1980s and 1990s.

Heading into the 2020s, the Red Wings (plus Detroit Cougars and Falcons) have played in parts of ten decades, starting in 1926. Since then, only Yzerman and Gordie Howe have led the team in scoring for two separate decades.

  • 1920s: George Hay (73)
  • 1930s: Herbie Lewis (279)
  • 1940s: Sid Abel (312)
  • 1950s: Gordie Howe (807)
  • 1960s: Gordie Howe (774)
  • 1970s: Nick Libett (422)
  • 1980s: Steve Yzerman (621)
  • 1990s: Steve Yzerman (896)
  • 2000s: Nicklas Lidstrom (563)
  • 2010s: Henrik Zetterberg (523)

The 2020s will see a new name added to the list above. In this week’s edition of The Grind Line, The Hockey Writers’ Red Wings coverage team shares their pick for the leading scorer of the coming decade. Be sure to comment with your prediction below!

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Tony Wolak: Filip Zadina

Filip Zadina will lead the Red Wings in scoring during the 2020s. Shocker, right?

Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, and Detroit’s 2020 lottery pick will certainly be contenders for the title, but Zadina’s game-changing abilities will give him the edge. Plus, he just turned 20 and has plenty of ceiling above him. 

Filip Zadina of the Detroit Red Wings
Filip Zadina’s nose for the net and playmaking abilities make him a prime candidate to lead the Red Wings in scoring during the 2020s. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It’s a small sample size, but he did co-lead Red Wings forwards in scoring during the month of December with 8 points – tied with Larkin and All-Star selection Tyler Bertuzzi. It’s only a matter of time until Zadina is able to drive play for his own line on a nightly basis. We’ve seen flashes of that already. 

Bonus predictions: Zadina will indeed finish out the decade as a member of the Red Wings and surpass Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom’s respective point totals from the 2010s and 2000s. 

Rachel Anderson: Filip Hronek

Though not many defensemen have made the point leaders of the decade list, Hronek could share the title with Lidstrom. He’s a well-rounded player with a sharp understanding of puck placement, which has earned him 22 points in 40 games thus far. Improved from the 2018-19 season, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down. 

Filip Hronek of the Detroit Red Wings
Could Filip Hronek score the most points during the 2020s? (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He also has the advantage of having rarely been sidelined due to injury and is a healthy player – not a scratch-and-dent like many current Red Wings. Being that he’s only 22, he’s got plenty of time to rack up more points and continue to grow in his special teams role. 

In addition, he’s already earning 25-plus minutes a night, which has already given him an enormous platform to score and learn from. Hronek has had no issue meshing into the NHL realm of playing and it won’t be long until the point totals start to pick up. 

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#HockeyTwitter’s Take

What about Red Wings fans across the world? We took to Twitter to find out who the internet thinks will lead the Red Wings in scoring during the 2020s. 

Let’s hope so! Winning the draft lottery and selecting Alexis Lafreniere would go a long way for the Red Wings’ rebuild.

Whether that person is a future draft pick or a free agent, there’s certainly a good chance that the leading scorer of the 2020s isn’t part of the organization yet.

Maybe not.

Who will lead the Detroit Red Wings in scoring during the 2020s? Comment with your pick.