MLive’s Ansar Khan examines 10 things to watch over the course of training camp and the exhibition season this morning. Among Khan’s top 10:
Can Joe Veleno make the jump from juniors to the NHL?
That’s a rare feat for anyone other than elite players, something 2018 sixth pick Filip Zadina couldn’t do last year. But Veleno could make a compelling case at the main camp and preseason, after excelling in Prospects Tournament. He’s a creative two-way center who can set-up linemates and finish. Still, he’ll need to excel in camp, coupled with an injury to a veteran center – Frans Nielsen or Valtteri Filppula – to have a realistic chance. It’s probably better to start him in Grand Rapids and promote him if things go well rather than start him in Detroit and demote him if he’s not ready.
Where will Moritz Seider play in 2019-20?
Grand Rapids most likely. The big, mobile, puck-moving defenseman drafted sixth overall this year looked good in development camp and in the Prospects Tournament but he’s not likely to crack the NHL roster at age 18. The Red Wings previously said they will decide after the preseason whether he’s better off playing another season with Adler Mannheim in Germany or if he should get acclimated to North America in Grand Rapids, where the organization would be able to keep closer tabs on his development. But Seider said during the Prospects Tournament that he’s likely done playing in Germany and would like to remain in North America.
Does Oliwer Kaski have a good chance to make the Red Wings roster?
The 2018-19 Finnish League MVP has size (6-3, 190) and offensive skills, but will that translate to the NHL? If he performs well in the preseason, moving the puck to forwards efficiently and limiting defensive mistakes, he could step into the lineup if one of the projected top six is injured or falters. Otherwise, he figures to start in the AHL, since he’s waiver-exempt and Madison Bowey is not.
Continued; I’m not expecting any of Veleno, Seider or Kaski to make the team, but the Red Wings’ prospect tournament afforded Veleno and Seider the opportunity to show that both are top-shelf prospects with great potential;
As far as Kaski is concerned, it may be best for the 24-year-old to start in the AHL to acclimate to North American ice and the North American pro pace of play, but he’s probably headed back to Finland if he doesn’t crack the Wings’ roster by the end of the 2019-2020 campaign.