It's been a long time coming, but fans will finally be able to get their real first good look at 2018 1st round draft selection Joe Veleno in a Detroit Red Wings uniform when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets from Nationwide Arena this evening.
Veleno played this season in the Swedish Hockey League with the Malmö Redhawks with whom he scored 11 goals and 9 assists in 46 games played. And now, following a seven-day quarantine, he's set to make his NHL debut, and he'll be wearing jersey No. 90:
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) April 27, 2021
For Veleno, he's excited to be able to show Detroit not only his offensive capabilities, but that he can also play a two-way game.
“To be a 200-foot centerman in the NHL, you need to be relied upon defensively as well as produce offensively,” he said. “I think I built a lot of good things in my game defensively and I can’t wait to go on the ice (here) and show it. That’s something I’m going to have to do a good job at if I want to play in the NHL, being responsible in my own end.”
And just like fellow 1st round pick Filip Zadina once stated, Veleno is aiming to make every team that decided to pass on him during the Draft regret it.
“I want to be better than all those guys that went ahead of me,” he said, “and prove to all the teams they shouldn’t have passed on me.”
Veleno was selected 30th overall thanks to an additional first round selection being acquired by Detroit from the Vegas Golden Knights in a deal that sent forward Tomas Tatar to Sin City.
– – Quotes via Will Burchfield of Audacy Link – –