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Abel to Yzerman

A Look At Joe Veleno

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Like many young players, the jump from junior to pros has been a learning curve for Veleno, who turned 20 on January 13. He had just started to look more like the player the Wings hoped they drafted when the season was postponed. Now he’s on hold — including his strength and conditioning program. As part of the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19, players have been told by stay home as much as possible. The Wings are trying to come up with alternate strength and conditioning routines.

Though Veleno looked better in the second half, he projects to spend more time in the AHL next season learning how to be the two-way center the Wings want him to be.

The Free Press spoke to Shawn Horcoff, the Wings’ director of player development, about Veleno’s progress.

“He’s had a really good second half of the year,” Horcoff said. “There’s been so much emphasis for him from the coaching side and the development side on his defensive game. He put a lot of hard work into that and he’s come a long way. He’s much more comfortable at that now. He’s playing big PK minutes, he’s on the ice at the end of the game — important minutes. So defensively we are really happy with his game.”

“The problem is sometimes when you do that, it can affect the offensive side. It can take time to figure out how to play at both ends of the rink properly. For Joe, he really started to figure it out in the second half. The biggest thing I noticed is his skating  he is starting to separate himself down there, he’s starting to have confidence to move the puck through the neutral zone, drive wide on D. That’s going to be an asset for him as he gains more strength and maturity.”

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com