Detroit Red Wings: Rookie Veleno’s NHL Debut Coming Tonight? Soon?

Octopus Thrower

Some Detroit Red Wings fans are holding out hope rookie center Joseph Veleno will be a late addition to the lineup tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Others are optimistic about him making his debut Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Everyone agrees, though, by the weekend, Veleno will have taken his first NHL shift.

“Hopefully, I’ll get the opportunity … in the next couple of days or whatever it is,” he said after Monday’s practice via Red Wings TV.

During the Red Wings’ practice Monday, Joseph Veleno centered the third line with Sam Gagner and Richard Panik.

Since rejoining the Red Wings from a stint with Malmo of the Swedish Hockey League, Veleno endured COVID-19 quarantine and concussion protocols. During that time, he participated in optional and morning skates.

Monday was his first full Red Wings practice and the 2018 30th overall draft pick centered the third line with Sam Gagner and Richard Panik.

Center of Red Wings’ Future

Long-term, the Red Wings envision Veleno developing into a second-line center. To become a bigger piece of the franchise’s, rebuild, Veleno said his experience in the SHL made him more defensively responsible.

“It’s something I found I needed to improve a lot,” Veleno said. “To be a 200-foot centerman in the NHL you need to be relied upon defensively and be able to produce offensively.

“I can’t wait to go on the ice and show it.”

Guess who else can’t wait?

“It’s looking good.”

– Joseph Veleno

Red Wings fans are eager to watch the prospect, get a glimpse into the future.

Some are hoping he will be cleared of the mild concussion/whiplash injury he suffered late in the SHL season in time for tonight’s opening faceoff.

Others understand they may have to wait until Thursday.

Be Patient.

“It’s looking good,” Veleno said.

Ice Chips

Filip Hronek sat out of Monday’s practice with minor injuries, but coach Jeff Blashill said he anticipates the top-pairing defenseman will be available against the Blue Jackets. … Forward Robby Fabbri (upper-body injury) wore a non-contact jersey Monday and is expected to sit out his 12th straight match tonight.

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