Shawn Horcoff, Red Wings director of player development, called Veleno a great skater and a good kid during development camp this week at Little Caesars Arena.
“He asked a ton of questions, which is always good to see,” Horcoff said. “He has a good work ethic, seems very focused, his off-ice habits are good already, just meeting him at the draft and speaking about what he’s currently doing to get ready for next year. You can tell right away he’s an effortless skater. Skating goes a long way in today’s game.”
Veleno said his best attributes are his speed and work ethic.
“If I don’t have those I don’t think I’m as noticeable on the ice,” Veleno said. “Just my compete and my work ethic to go after pucks and battle in front of the net, battle in the corners. Of course, use my speed. Now it’s mostly about speed. If you don’t have that I think it’s pretty hard to play.”
The Detroit Red Wings’ prospects engaged in one final day of skating and then skate-testing at the BELFOR Training Center on Friday, building upon Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s sessions with a little “hockey calculus” in terms of drills and a lot of hustle as the players engaged in the dreaded “skate test,” a 3-lap, 3-repetition drill held at the end of a 45-minute practice which absolutely gasses the players via intervals of skating up and down the ice after 3, 2, and then 1 minute’s worth of rest.
The “hockey calculus” came at the hands of coach Ben Simon, who’s worked very hard to take the lead over the past four days, and it’s been encouraging to watch the Grand Rapids Griffins coach find his lungs, erm, I mean “coaching legs,” despite the lack of AHL assistants at his disposal.
Silverman sees the Wings’ 2018 draft picks as risky but potentially useful from an organizational depth perspective:
After the draft was over, I spoke with a few scouts to see what they thought about the Red Wings’ decision to take the goaltenders they did. After all, quite a few teams went off the board and took guys who, in theory, would have been available as free agents in just a few weeks’ time.
One scout said that even though free agency may be a way to avoid using draft picks on an imprecise position, it’s always better to control the situation.
In Brattström’s case, the Red Wings may have already been aware that the goaltender was set to split the crease next season for Timra IK’s pro team with the Wild’s 2017-18 AHL goaltender, Niklas Svedberg. So Brattström will be learning alongside a fellow Swede who has NHL experience and recent exposure to the North American game. If Brattström has a breakout season, it’s easy to see that he could have become the subject of a bidding war by NHL teams in the summer of 2019.
Another thing to consider is the ease with which players can make their way overseas.
Continued (paywall), and this is an intriguing read…
The Red Wings’ prospects wrapped up their practices and fitness testing at LCA’s BELFOR Training Center just after 1 PM today, and the media headed downstairs to speak with players who participated in Team Lindsay’s activities.
We first spoke to David Pope, who discussed his split off-season focus between continuing to improve his skating and goal-scoring while rounding out his game somewhat as Pope prepares for a fall in which the 24-year-old turning-pro forward believes he’s still got a solid chance of making the Wings’ roster:
As it turns out, Jack Adams’ current collegiate employer, Union College, employs a full-year, trimester curriculum, so the 6’5″ goal-scorer spoke about his desire to get back to school and work with his coaches as the massive right-shooting winger hopes to continue building both his physique and intellect:
Finally, goaltender Joren van Pottelberghe spoke with the media about his hopes of earning the uncontested starter’s job with HC Davos of the Swiss League, a league he says is becoming more competitive every day. JvP discussed his adjustments to smaller-rink size and the benefits of platooning his goaltending with co-starter Gilles Senn over the past two seasons. This year, JvP hopes to earn starting jobs with both Davos and the Swiss national team:
Why: The Wings need a proven NHL-caliber goaltender. Hutton is their top target, having gone 17-7-3 in 2017-18 with a 2.09 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in 32 appearances with St. Louis. Hutton, 32, has played around 30 games each of the past two seasons. That’s a good workload and would alleviate Howard, who played 60 games last season because the Wings lacked a reliable No. 2.
G Jonathan Bernier
Why: Bernier spent 2017-18 with Colorado, where he went 19-13-0 with a 2.85 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in 37 appearances. A former starter in Toronto, he turns 30 in August. He is coming off a season that saw him miss time with injuries ranging from upper-body to two head injuries and an infection.
F Valtteri Filppula
Why: The Wings would have re-signed center him five years ago had he been willing to keep playing under then-coach Mike Babcock. Now he’s 34, and looking for work. Filppula is a good, two-way center, a good faceoff guy who can be trusted in his own zone and a guy who’ll put up in the 30-point range. He makes sense if the Wings are worried about Henrik Zetterberg, who turns 38 in October, though he has played three straight 82-game seasons.
The Red Wings keep their players busy during development camp’s “down times” via seminars on social media, sleep and nutrition, and team nutritionist Lisa McDowell’s nutrition course tends to take the cake in terms of having an impact upon the players’ behaviors. DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji penned an article about McDowell’s crash course in advanced nutritional techniques:
McDowell has learned that you can teach these kids a thing or two about foods and their impact on their performance on ice, things that show up when they test the players’ blood.
“One of my favorite stories goes back to Luke Glendening,” McDowell said. “When he was at development camp, he told me that he ate out often. He just didn’t have the skills and he learned them and he learned real simple recipes and his markers are amazing. So I think it does make a difference. When I can take their lab results back to them and sit with them and show them where opportunities are and now they’ve seen the foods. They’ve seen spinach, they’ve seen kale, they’ve seen beets, they’ve seen tart cherries, oatmeal. We did build overnight oats that will soak in almond milk. I don’t know that they would ever do that at home but now they know, geez, I literally made oats in minutes and I can make a week’s worth, put them in the fridge and have them every morning and get that blood sugar control so they can preserve their glycogen stores on the ice.
“So they’re lessons that are so tangible. They can apply them and then they can feel them when they skate.”