Danny DeKeyser
Danny DeKeyser
30-Year-Old DefensemanD
Detroit Red Wings
2020 Fantasy Outlook
DeKeyser played in only eight games last year before he was sidelined by a back injury that required surgery. It's disappointing for the 30-year-old Detroit native, who was coming off a 20-point effort the year before. The Red Wings made plenty of moves to bolster their blue line ahead of 2020-21, which could leave DeKeyser on the outside looking in if he isn't fully recovered at the start of training camp. When healthy, he's been able to command more than 20 minutes per game, but given the long-term nature of his back injury, DeKeyser could have to settle for a smaller role to get into the lineup this season. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a six-year, $30 million contract with the Red Wings in July of 2016.
Solid two-way performance
DDetroit Red Wings
February 25, 2021
DeKeyser managed an assist to complement a plus-3 rating Thursday in a 5-2 win over the Predators.
ANALYSIS
This was the first point for DeKeyser since the defenseman returned from a leg injury last Saturday against the Panthers. He didn't play all that much (17:07) as he works to build up the strength in his leg following back surgery, but DeKeyser's performance Thursday was encouraging, as he contributed on both ends of the ice and came out unscathed.
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2020 NHL Game Log
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2019 NHL Game Log
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2020–21 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    16:25
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    0:36
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    0:42
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2018–19
21:58
0:14
2:31
2019–20
22:04
0:01
3:31
2020–21
16:25
0:36
0:42
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Hand and lower-body injuries largely overshadowed a banner season from DeKeyser in 2018-19. The left-shot defenseman accumulated five goals, 15 assists, and a plus-2 rating over 52 games while leading all Red Wings skaters with 21:58 of average ice time. Looking ahead to an eighth NHL campaign -- with his service time spent exclusively in Detroit -- DeKeyser is in the thick of his prime, but fans of the Winged Wheel are still waiting for him to fully bust out offensively as a 29-year-old netting $5 million annually on a six-year deal. While he checks out as a sound two-way blueliner, Dekeyser barely seeing action on the man advantage severely diminishes his appeal in fantasy hockey, plus injuries remain a concern.
Detroit is chock-full of left-shooting defensemen and with DeKeyser among them, the Michigan native slotted outside his natural position on the right side of Nick Jensen in 2017-18. Versatility is Danny D's saving grace in “real life,” as the 6-foot-3, 192-pound blueliner's assumed much more defensive responsibility after turning heads with a 31-point season under the direction of Mike Babcock four years ago. However, the role change has limited DeKeyser's fantasy prospects considering he's totaled just 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) over the past two seasons combined, and he was barely deployed on the power play in 2017-18. Looking ahead, the 28-year-old will provide the occasional greasy goal from the point -- he converted on 9.2 percent of his shots last year -- but he'll be bypassed in all but the deepest fantasy leagues.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland must love Dekeyser, as the Western Michigan University product will command $5 million annually through the 2021-22 campaign. For comparison's sake, this contract is quite similar to the six-year deal procured by Rasmus Ristolainen of Buffalo -- a perennial power-play contributor who has accumulated 86 points between the last two seasons. Dekeyser has only managed 12 goals and 20 assists in that same span, though he fearlessly blocked a career-high 170 shots over 21:57 of ice time this past year. Two-way defensemen capable of handling heavy minutes come at a premium in the NHL, and the 27-year-old is in the prime of his career, but ever since coach Jeff Blashill took over for Mike Babcock ahead of the 2015-16 season, DeKeyser hasn't been much of a factor with the man advantage, and that puts a sizable dent in his projected fantasy value.
DeKeyser is a utility defenseman. He skates well, has size at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, and is useful on both ends of the ice. Last season, he led all Detroit blueliners with eight goals thanks to a shooting percentage of 11.1, which rivaled the output from a few of the team’s top forwards. A product of Western Michigan University, DeKeyser hasn’t finished on the wrong side of the plus-minus in the four years that he’s been in the league. With that in mind, fantasy players wish he’d be more assertive – he’s only put up 260 shots in 234 career games, often showing a tendency to pass when the lanes are open. DeKeyser figures to carve out a top-four role in the season ahead, and he could see meaningful time on the man advantage with Brad Richards retired. If you’re looking for a defenseman who logs big minutes and does a little bit of everything, DeKeyser will be a nice secondary fantasy option, especially in rotisserie leagues.
DeKeyser skated in a career-high 80 games last season for the Red Wings, notching two goals and 31 points. The 6-foot-3 blueliner carried his most value in the plus/minus category, where he posted a team-leading plus-11 leading mark. The 25-year-old also saw a 1:24 average ice time on the man advantage, but with the offseason additions of power-play quarterbacks Brad Richards and Mike Green, he could see those minutes dry up in 2015-16. Should that indeed occur, DeKeyser may be hard pressed to raise his scoring up much further, but with a top-four role awaiting him on defense again, it's a good bet that his all-around production will remain stable. Along with the scoring and plus/minus contributions he provided last season, DeKeyser pitched in with 42 PIM, 74 hits, and 88 blocks, giving him a decent floor for fantasy owners to count on.
DeKeyser had a solid rookie season, tallying 23 points and a plus-10 rating in 65 games. The 24-year-old has star potential, but it may take another year or two to fully realize it. He should grab around 25 to 30 points this season if he can stay healthy.
Don't be misled by DeKeyser's single point in 11 games for the Red Wings in 2012-13. He had a much larger impact. Coach Babcock is extremely high on the youngster and hated it when an injury kept him out of the Red Wings' playoff run. DeKeyser will have every opportunity to make the Red Wings' roster in the fall, and should take up residence there for a long time.
More Fantasy News
Jumps to active roster
DDetroit Red Wings
February 25, 2021
DeKeyser was promoted to the active roster ahead of Thursday's game versus the Predators.
ANALYSIS
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Moved to taxi squad
DDetroit Red Wings
February 24, 2021
DeKeyser was assigned to Detroit's taxi squad Wednesday.
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Back to active roster
DDetroit Red Wings
February 23, 2021
DeKeyser was promoted from the taxi squad to the active roster ahead of Tuesday's game versus the Predators.
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Shifts to taxi squad
DDetroit Red Wings
February 21, 2021
The Red Wings demoted DeKeyser to the taxi squad Sunday, per CapFriendly.
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Ready to rock
DDetroit Red Wings
February 20, 2021
DeKeyser (leg) will play in Saturday's game versus the Panthers, Ansar Khan of MLive.com reports.
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