2012-13: Dan DeKeyser made the jump directly from college hockey to the NHL and finished the year by winning an AHL championship with Detroit AHL affiliate Grand Rapids. Signed to a two-year entry-level contract as a free agent in March 2013 following his junior season at Western Michigan, he made his NHL debut on April 5th in a game against Colorado. In 11 regular season games he had 1 assist and was +4 with 2 penalty minutes; averaging 18 minutes of ice time. He played in the first two playoff games, finishing even with no points or penalty minutes, before suffering a broken thumb. DeKeyser joined the Griffins during the AHL Finals against Syracuse and was an even plus/minus with 1 assist and 8 penalty minutes in six playoff games. He was selected to the NCAA West Second All-American team for his play at Western Michigan. In 35 games he scored 2 goals with 13 assists and was -4 with 22 penalty minutes.
The Clay Township, MI native blossomed into one of college hockey’s top rearguards before signing with the Red Wings. While he is a defensive defenseman, DeKeyser is by no means the stay-at-home type. He is very mobile, plays intelligently in all three zones, and can be seen jumping into plays when opportunities present themselves. At 6’3 and 198 pounds, DeKeyser has a good frame and he uses that frame to his advantage. DeKeyser uses his size, strength and tenacity quite effectively in wearing down opposing players and taking away time and space. This is particularly evident in his excellent play along the boards. DeKeyser is an agile skater with terrific feet and great balance. He moves equally well going north-south and east-west. His skating and feet also allow him to make smooth transitions and make the right plays. One attribute that sets DeKeyser apart from many other collegiate defensemen is his ability to control the tempo of the game. He sees the ice really well and possesses great hockey sense. His decision-making has continually improved with quicker and smarter reads and reactions. DeKeyser possesses a powerful shot and can get shots to the net. He has great hands and moves the puck exceedingly well, too.
DeKeyser stepping into the Detroit lineup in 2012-13 and immediately became one of the team's top four defensemen. He will look to play his first full season for the Red Wings in 2013-14.