Red Wings prospect Joe Veleno spoke with the media after taking part in the first day of the Red Wings’ summer development camp today, and Veleno discussed the challenges involved in “turning pro” this year, regardless of whether he plays for the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings, or both teams. 97.1 the Ticket’s Will Burtchfield took note of Veleno’s comments:
“It’s one of the biggest challenges coming from juniors, managing how to create time and space on the ice for yourself and how to make plays at a higher pace,” he said. “That’s one thing I’m definitely going to have to work on this summer and get used to for next year. … Guys are bigger, stronger, quicker, so you have to be ready for that.”
In all likelihood, Veleno will start the season with Grand Rapids in the AHL. It will allow him to adjust to the pro game away from the pressures of the NHL. If he acquits himself well, he could be summoned to Detroit.
He acknowledged Tuesday that he has some growing to do on the defensive side of the puck, a process he began in earnest last season. He said he started to play more of a 200-foot game and clean up “the little things that are going to translate well in the pros.”
Veleno held up well in training camp last year, then tallied a couple assists in three preseason games. His speed and vision appeared to play at the next level. As he enters a legitimate tryout this year, that experience should help.
“It gave me a lot of confidence. I saw that I was able to play with some of the older guys who had already turned pro and I was able to keep up with them,” Veleno said. “Already then it gave me an idea of where I’m at and how I can prepare myself for next year.”