Red Wings prospect Joe Veleno registered a goal and an assist as Team Canada defeated Team USA 4-1 at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, MI today.
The Detroit News took note of Veleno’s performance…
Veleno scored a power-play goal in the first period at the 12:11 mark with assists to Kirby Dach (Blackhawks) and Nolan Foote (Lightning).
In the second period, Veleno assisted on the first of two goals by Dach at 10:16. Veleno’s linemate, Alexis Lafreniere (projected 2020 No. 1 overall pick), had an assist on Dach’s other goal.
Foote also scored for Canada and goalies Oliver Rodrigue (Oilers) and Hunter Jones (Wild) combined to stop 30-of-31 shots.
Cole Caufield (Canadiens) scored the only goal for the U.S. and goalie Dustin Wolf stopped 18-of-22 shots.
The teams resume play on Wednesday with Canada facing Finland at 1 p.m., and the U.S. playing Sweden at 4 p.m.
USA Hockey posted a quick highlight clip from the game…
The London Free Press’s Ryan Pyette filed a report which praises London Knights coach and Hockey Canada bench boss Dale Hunter’s decision to place Kirby Dach on Veleno’s line with Alexis Lafreniere…
“They were clicking and passing the puck around on the power play,” the long-time London Knights coach and third-winningest coach in OHL history said. “I thought I would get Dach in the middle and see how they’re doing.”
The Americans struggled to contain them at even strength. Dach finished with two goals and an assist. Veleno buried the ice-breaker and Lafreniere made a gorgeous pass only the guys making $8 million to 10 million in the NHL tend to anticipate.
“He has that feel. All the good players have that,” Hunter said with a grin. “They had a good game. They’re big guys and they’re creative and can skate. They move the puck well and when you move the puck, it’s hard to defend. They didn’t do it individually. They did it as a line and that’s how lines are successful.”
Hunter saw something in Veleno and decided to use him in the middle on the power play. The Red Wings prospect, who will likely play in the American league with Grand Rapids this season, had never been in that spot.
“I was told to go to the net and I know the guys are skilled players and would find me wherever I was,” he said. “I was in the right spot at the right time and kind of shovelled it in (for the first one).”
And Michigan Hockey posted a photo gallery.
Update: TSN posted a 3:20 video clip talking about Dach, Lafreniere and Veleno as well.
Update #2: TSN posted a highlight clip, too.