The Detroit Red Wings have landed prized college free agent defenseman Dan Dekeyser, the club announced today.
A Michigan native, DeKeyser (6-foot-3, 200 lbs) was playing college hockey for the Western Michigan Broncos prior to agreeing to terms on a two-year deal with the Wings. He had two goals and 15 points this season.
DeKeyser, 23, will practice with his new NHL club tomorrow, though he won’t play Sunday or Monday.
“We’re happy,” said Wings general manager Ken Holland. “You’re always looking for defenseman, and this guy is rangy, mobile.”
Holland added: “He’ll be with us the rest of the regular season. When he plays is up to Mike Babcock, but we’re not holding tryouts. We’re trying to make the playoffs. Danny understands that we’re in a playoff race.”
Following is a scouting report from last year on DeKeyser courtesy Red Line Report (via the Edmonton Journal):
He plays a simple, defense first, stay-at-home game. DeKeyser is also highly mobile and a strong all-compass skater. He’s not flashy at the offensive end, but moves the puck well and gets it to the right spots by making good decisions. Efficiently gets the puck out of the zone with crisp outlets. He’s physical and wins the battles down low, keeps the crease clear, and plays with a bit of a nasty edge. He’s an outstanding penalty killer who blocks a ton of shots.
DeKeyser has been named the CCHA’s best defensive defenseman the last two seasons.