The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan posted a notebook article this afternoon, and it discusses Red Wings prospect Joe Veleno’s near proximity to being an NHL-ready player:
Veleno, a 2018 first-round pick, had a tie-breaking goal and assist in Thursday’s 4-2 victory over Pittsburgh, and has had a good, if not excellent, camp. He also didn’t look out of place in a five-game trial with the Wings late last season. But the Wings don’t want Veleno to play scarce minutes and have a lesser role at the NHL level, if the alternative is to play big minutes in every situation in Grand Rapids and continue to learn and blossom.
The Wings also have a pool of players for the bottom-six forwards who are older and more experienced than Veleno, making a path to a roster spot difficult.
“He’s making his way to being close to being NHL-ready,” Blashill said. “There’s a lot of guys kind of in that mix and then it’s that next step that’s more important, (being) ready to help an NHL team be way better. That to me is what we’re looking for. How do you help the Detroit Red Wings be a way better team, not just how can you make our team? He’s worked his tail off for two years, he’s changed his body, bought into being good on the defensive side of the puck. So, it depends on where he potentially fits in. Is he better than other guys?”