The Detroit Red Wings once again have their eyes on the future, and GM Steve Yzerman has a cornucopia of draft capital at his disposal as he continues to shape the team moving forward.
The additional good news? The young players on the roster are giving him reasons for optimism. The likes of Michael Rasmussen, Filip Hronek and Filip Zadina have taken strides as their NHL careers take the next step, and Yzerman is noticing.
“They are positively contributing,” Yzerman said. “It’s not like they’re putting up big numbers but that’s OK. They’re competing really hard. They’re doing a lot of good things. They’re growing as as players.”
“I see a difference in their play from a year ago,” he continued. “They are having more of an impact in each situation they’re in. They’re not regressing. You can see when guys are really competing and asserting themselves, regardless of what their statistics are, they are having a positive impact.”
Fans could soon get a glimpse of 2018 1st round draft selection Joe Veleno, who was recalled from Malmo in the Swedish Hockey League and assigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins as he continues his professional development. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him make it into Detroit’s lineup as the regular season schedule winds down with a dozen games remaining.
“Joe is somebody that potentially we could get a look at once he comes out of quarantine, see where he’s at, see where we are at,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “That’s definitely a potential.”
The Red Wings take on the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at Little Caesars Arena beginning at 7:30 EST.