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Go through the gallery above as Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News ranks the Red Wings in value. Click here if you have trouble viewing the gallery.

Detroit — It’s never easy to place an exact value on any athlete in a team sport.

His or her value to a team can come in a variety of ways. Pure, identifiable offensive production is an easy way to signify worth. But, variables such as leadership, being a “team” player, age and potential to contribute at the pro level, and position being played all are important aspects.

An NHL team is allowed 90 players maximum on its reserve list, whether signed to a standard contract or unsigned. From there, there’s a 50-contract maximum (players primarily in the NHL and minor leagues, along with select draft picks in junior hockey) and the 23-player active NHL roster.

That’s a lot of players under a team’s umbrella. Their worth, seemingly, like any stock, goes up and down in a hurry.

The Red Wings have missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, and under new general manager Steve Yzerman, are looking to end that slide as soon as possible.

How they improve, change, add to or subtract, that stockpile of players obviously will decide how soon the losing ends.

Whose individual stock is highest right now? Who's is among the lowest?

The Detroit News takes a stab at ranking the top 50 players in the organization, given success at the NHL level, age, potential, contract situation, and position played.

It’s a list with plenty of hope for the future. But potential has to be realized by those young players, because the present roster appears to have hit its limit and is rather stagnant.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tkulfan

 

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