Embed from Getty Images “I do, I think so,” Joe Veleno said. “For any guy here, it’s a big opportunity. Detroit’s in a big rebuild and there’s a lot of open spots. I’m definitely taking that into consideration and giving it my best to play on the team next year.” Responding to the question if the young center feels he can make it to Detroit at some point this season.
After spending the last four years in juniors, 19 year old Joe Veleno is confident he can take the next step. That next step will most likely see Veleno start the 2019-20 season in Grand Rapids with the Griffins.
Rewind for a moment to the 2018 NHL draft. Joe Veleno was widely viewed as a first round 10-15 draft pick. He fell all the way to #30 in the first round. Then Detroit Red Wings general manager, Ken Holland made an easy call.
Joe Veleno understands his season will start in Grand Rapids, in the AHL. It will allow him to adjust to the pro game away from the pressures of the NHL. If he adjusts well, he could be summoned to Detroit.
Development camp is underway at Little Caesars Arena. This is the time for prospects to show how much they have grown and where they’re placement could be. The five-day event kicked off with a dinner highlighted by a speech from Steve Yzerman, two months into his reign as general manager.
Veleno said Yzerman’s speech was centered on the fact the Red Wings are in a rebuild and there are open roster spots to be won. “He was telling us there are going to be a lot of open spots and it doesn’t matter if you’re a first round draft pick or a camp invite, everyone is battling for a position,” Veleno said.
Veleno wrapped up his junior career with 104 points in 59 games for Drummondville in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Solid number to be sure. Joe Veleno said he is going to work on how to create time and space for yourself and how to make plays at a higher pace.
It will be interesting to how Joe Veleno develops this summer and upcoming season.