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.”