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Joe Veleno At Center Or Wing?

from Max Bultman of The Athletic,

...I posed this question to Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill: is there a world in which Veleno is battling for a job on the wing this fall? Or is he exclusively competing down the middle — with the fourth-line center spot the most conspicuously vacant.

“There’s a world where he’s competing on the wing, for sure,” Blashill said. “There’s no doubt that I think if he ends up a much better player than some of the guys that we foresee in those spots, and he’s a better player than those guys and we can find him a spot in the top nine somewhere, then I think it’s a discussion. The discussion for fourth-line center, we’d have to talk what’s best for Joe Veleno at that point, too. Not just necessarily is he a little bit better than another guy; is that the best thing for our organization and the best thing for him in terms of his development? And those are talks that Steve and I will have as we go through exhibition season. And obviously, there’s unforeseen things like injuries. So let’s see where it goes. I think the biggest thing is he just needs to make a statement every time he’s on the ice, that he’s going to make us better.”

Not only was that a clear “yes” on the possibility of Veleno competing at wing — it actually sounded more plausible to me that Veleno makes the team at wing than he does at fourth-line center. Reading not-so-thinly between the lines, there’s a clear implication that Detroit wants Veleno to be a top-nine player if he’s going to make the team, whether that be down the middle or on the wing.

read on (paid sub.)

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Paul's avatar

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Opportunity was difficult to come by for Mitchell Stephens in a championship organization like Tampa Bay, but the Detroit Red Wings offer a much better chance for the 24-year-old center to establish himself in the league.

“Coming into this organization, they wanted to give me a shot, an opportunity to play a bigger role,” Stephens said. “I’m grateful for my time in Tampa. I played with a lot of great players. For the next chapter of my career, it’s growing, establishing myself and coming in here to do what I can to help the team, wherever that may be.”...

Stephens has looked good the first few days of training camp. He scored two goals in Sunday’s Red and White scrimmage in Traverse City, utilizing his skating ability.

“I think the skating can lead to momentum and that’s important,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “From a skating aspect, he’s definitely been involved and brought energy. Ultimately, if he’s in this spot on a fourth-line role, it doesn’t mean you can’t add offense. We need offense from all four lines if possible….

“So, I’ve liked him. He’s certainly come to work every day. He brings an element of speed, he’s a right shot. He seems to have done a pretty good job on the penalty kill. If he can win face-offs on that right side, it would be huge.”

I came in and ran with that opportunity,” Stephens said. “I want to put my best foot forward every day and show that I can contribute and play inside the structure and the system that the coaches want.”

more

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/26/21 at 09:11 PM ET

Paul's avatar

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

“There’s opportunity here, there are some spots open,” Suter said. “I want to play and I also want to help the team grow. There’s a lot of guys around my age (25) that you can grow up together and gain experience and win more games every year and go from there.

“They were interested in me and I felt it was a good spot and a great organization with a lot of history and definitely will be fun.”

Suter got position inside of defenseman Moritz Seider to a loose puck, drove to the net and beat goalie Calvin Pickard for his goal.

Coach Jeff Blashill likes what he has seen from Suter thus far in camp.

“He’s a real smart player, I’ve been impressed with him,” Blashill said. “He’s a very heady player. He won’t wow you physically. He doesn’t shoot it a million miles and doesn’t skate like crazy. But he’s a real heady player and super smart. He knows where to be ... offensively and defensively.”

read on ($$$)

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/26/21 at 09:13 PM ET

calquake's avatar

“He’s a real smart player, I’ve been impressed with him,” Blashill said. “He’s a very heady player. He won’t wow you physically. He doesn’t shoot it a million miles and doesn’t skate like crazy. But he’s a real heady player and super smart. He knows where to be ... offensively and defensively.”

Does that not sound like a Draper clone or What?

Posted by calquake from Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst on 09/26/21 at 11:12 PM ET

Avatar

I’m good with this “crack the top 9” thing.  The organization still has replacement-level guys in the top 9.  This isn’t marooning a 24-year old Nyquist in GR behind Alfredsson, it’s challenging a 21-year old (also a 19-year old, as I assume the same logic applies to Raymond) to be better than Namestnikov.

Posted by captaineclectic on 09/27/21 at 06:31 AM ET

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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