Wade Megan, the first National Hockey League player from Canton, has retired as a player and is focusing now on running the NoCo Hockey camp for area kids at SUNY Canton.
Megan, a forward who turned 29 on July 22, played in 11 games last year with the Detroit Red Wings and picked up an assist. He also played in 48 games with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins, recording 19 goals and 18 assists.
He made his NHL debut in the 2016-17 season with the St. Louis Blues, scoring his only career NHL goal in his first game. He played in 15 NHL games over the past three years.
“It’s just one of those things where I worked incredibly hard and no one can ever take that away from me,” Megan said. “I was able to get up there and play some games in the NHL and have an incredible experience along the way and meet a lot of great people, a lot of great coaches. Some of my best friends I’ve met through the game of hockey.”
So I’m still posting items despite the fact that I’m officially on vacation for the week in Grand Marais, Michigan. I feel that I should give you an explanation as to why I’m grinding out stuff when I said I’d be out for a week.
It turns out that there is internet service in the cabin my mother and I are staying in, and mom has been ill due to a urinary tract infection (yes, another one). Combine that with some inclement weather, and you’ve got a blogger who feels most comfortable puttering around on his computer while watching over his mom.
The vacation will kick into high gear over the next three days, and between packing on Friday and driving home on Saturday, I will spend more than enough time away from the computer as the week progresses.
Right now, I’m going through my usual bouts of insomnia and feel more comfortable covering stuff at half speed than I do sitting around with the laptop lid closed, so that’s why you’re seeing stuff get posted.
I appreciate the concerns for my mental and physical health, but I am doing okay, and I am taking my vacation seriously. I’m in balance and will do my best to take the time between now and the start of training camp and use it to rest and prepare for the 2019-20 season.
The Detroit News posted an article in which an unknown author discusses two top Swedish prospects who the Red Wings are watching at the World Junior Summer Showcase:
A Swedish duo of high-scoring forwards at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth are on a historic path that could lead them to be selected by a lottery-bound team like the Red Wings in the 2020 NHL Draft.
Alexander Holtz and Lucas Raymond are among the top high-end prospects behind consensus No. 1 pick Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic.
Holtz, 17, is a 6-1, 183-pound winger who was the youngest player to lead Sweden’s SuperElit League in goal scoring with 30 goals in 38 games with Djurgardens last year.
Raymond, 17, is a 5-10, 178-pound winger who finished fourth overall in scoring with Frolunda in the Elit and Allsveskan leagues with 63 points in 33 games.
They are trying to become the first pair of Swedes to be taken in the first three picks since Daniel Sedin (second overall) and Henrik Sedin (third overall) were selected by the Vancouver Canucks in 1999.
From DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji on Twitter: Nicklas Lidstrom gave the Tre Kronor, a.k.a. the Swedish national team, a tour of Little Caesars Arena:
Idag fick Juniorkronorna en egen guidad tur i Little Caesars Arena. Tack till Nicklas Lidström som ordnade det till grabbarna 💙💛 #juniorkronorna pic.twitter.com/R6MLgNtZcE— Tre Kronor (@Trekronorse) July 29, 2019
The Hockey News’s Ryan Kennedy penned a profile of Red Wings prospect Joe Veleno, discussing the young center’s status as an “exceptional” 15-year-old playing in the QMJHL and his mentorship of top prospect Alexis Lafreniere:
Because Veleno was granted exceptional status to join the Quebec League as a 15-year-old, he is eligible to play in the American League this season despite being only 19. That’s great for the Grand Rapids Griffins, but also for Team Canada, which will get a rare player with experience against men on its roster. So far, it’s been an interesting journey for Veleno, thanks to that exceptional status designation.
“It was a roller coaster,” he said. “It’s not easy coming into that league as a 15-year-old playing against 19- and 20-year-olds. Once I got some years under my belt, I became the older guy and things came natural. Getting that experience helped my confidence.”
Veleno went first overall to the Saint John Sea Dogs in 2015 and had a decent rookie season as an underager while playing with future NHLers such as Thomas Chabot and Mathieu Joseph. His second year was truncated by injury, but he still put up nearly a point per game. In his draft year, he was named captain of the Sea Dogs but was eventually traded to Drummondville as Saint John began a rebuild. Scouts thought he put too much pressure on himself in that last stint with Saint John and that Veleno looked more comfortable with the Voltigeurs, but he still slid to the end of the first round of the NHL draft in the summer of 2018, going 30th overall to the Red Wings, who had already taken Filip Zadina sixth overall.
DetroitRedWings.com’s Arthur J. Regner examines Red Wings prospect Antti Tuomisto’s 2018-2019 season “By the Numbers” this afternoon, and Regner’s article includes commentary by Red Wings director of player development Shawn Horcoff:
“At camp, obviously he’s a kid, he’s got good size. It’s weird. He was one of those kids that looked better in the scrimmage than he did in practice. That can be attributed to a lot of things. That’s why I don’t like to make that many comments on the young players because it’s his first pro camp. It’s a really busy time of year for them and it’s hard for them to come in and feel comfortable. So we tell them all this and the fact that it’s not really as much about evaluation as it is the learning process at development camp. It’s not fair for these kids. First off, it’s the end of June, a lot of them are coming right from the draft, they’re getting thrown everywhere. It’s early in the season in terms of training, they’re not in the conditioning that they will be come September.
Red Wings prospect Jonatan Berggren spoke with HockeyNews.se’s Henrik Sjoberg from the World Junior Summer Showcase, where Berggren is still shaking off some rust after suffering a back injury this past season.
What follows is roughly translated from Swedish, and the Swedish mostly comes from an interview that HockeyNews.se posted on its YouTube page:
Continue reading Roughly translated: Jonatan Berggren discusses his injury-shortened 2018-19 campaign
Berggren is physically ready: ‘I’ve been useful to be injured’
Plymouth. A stress fracture in his back put a stop to games in the fall last season.
There were only 16 games for Jonatan Berggren [last season]–but the 19-year-old doesn’t only see disadvantages of having suffered a long-term injury.
“I’ve been given time to really build up myself in the gym, so it’s been useful to be injured,” says the Skelleftea AIK forward to HockeyNews.se.
MLive’s Ansar Khan suggests that Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman will likely wait out the 2019-2020 season before making significant managerial moves. Khan indicates that we should not be surprised if Yzerman emulates the man who “showed him the ropes”:
The team has stockpiled young forwards, some of whom are proven NHL players (Dylan Larkin, Mantha, Athanasiou, Bertuzzi) and others still in the early stages of development (Evgeny Svechnikov, Michael Rasmussen, Filip Zadina, Joe Veleno, Taro Hirose). Yzerman might look to package one or two with other assets for a young defenseman.
Yzerman, like Holland before him, will at least move veterans on expiring contracts for draft picks at the trade deadline, assuming the team is out of playoff contention. The list includes Howard, Mike Green, Jonathan Ericsson and Trevor Daley.
Yzerman apprenticed under Holland for four years, and while he appears more willing to take chances, there are some philosophies both share. One of them seems to be player development and entitlement. Holland believed in “over-ripening” prospects in the AHL, not handing them jobs based on draft position.
Yzerman appears to feel the same, which explains in part the signings of Filppula and Nemeth. Some would argue Zadina, Svechnikov and Dennis Cholowski should be on the team regardless of performance and develop in the NHL while taking their lumps. Yzerman isn’t apt to do that.
Red Wings prospect Joe Veleno registered a goal and an assist in Team Canada’s 4-1 win over Team USA at the World Junior Summer Showcase on Tuesday. After the game, Veleno told DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji that he’s aiming high while holding out hope that he’ll take part in this year’s World Junior Championship:
Since Red Wings development camp ended at the end of June, Veleno said he has remained in the Detroit area, working out and skating with a few other players.
On Saturday, before Team Canada officially arrived, Veleno was in one of the USA Hockey Arena suites and got a chance to talk to general manager Steve Yzerman.
“It’s obviously an honor to be around him, he’s one of the best to ever play the game,” Veleno said. “He knows his hockey. You know when you exchange words with him, you’re kind of a sponge a little bit, take everything he says and that’s what I’m trying to do, from the whole staff, management, from top to bottom, just kind of listen to what they say and try to apply it on the ice.”
While this tournament is considered a proving ground of sorts to help Team USA, Team Canada, Team Sweden and Team Finland select players for their World Junior Championship teams, Veleno would of course prefer to be playing for the Red Wings come December.
“For sure, that’s the main goal,” Veleno said. “I think it’s a good opportunity though as well to kind of show where I am with my own age level. If I’m ready to take that next step in Detroit, obviously they’re all little steps to get there but I think it starts here at this tournament, showing what I can do with all the other prospects. I thought today went relatively well and going to continue getting better here.”