Red Wings: Five Predictions and One Wild Speculation for 2022-2023

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Detroit Red Wings, Joe Veleno

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Red Wings’ minor league affiliate, The Grand Rapids Griffins, will be a contender for the Calder Cup. The American Hockey League is some of the world’s most exciting and underrated hockey. The Griffins have been solid but not spectacular since last winning the Calder Cup in 2017. This year’s Griffins will be one of the most skilled teams anywhere.

The blue line will be stacked with solid players and future NHLers. Edvinsson, Johansson, Viro, Sebrango, McIsaac, and Lashoff make up an impressive defense corps. Soderblom, Andreasson, Hirose, Berggren, Czarnik, Shine, Tyutyayev, and others make for a quality front line.

Brattstrom and Olkinuora, and soon Bednar and Cossa, comprise a first-rate goaltending team. The only thing derailing a long AHL playoff run is a load of injuries on the big team. This year, a call-up from Grand Rapids will not mean a generic roster filler but a quality young player with star potential getting their shot at the NHL.

Red Wings forwards Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno will enjoy breakout seasons.

Another easy prediction is that Filip Zadina will have a strong scoring season. A new coach, new system, new contract, and a stronger supporting cast will equal a 50+ point season for Zadina. A less obvious prediction is that Joe Veleno will also break out.

Although Joe Veleno may start the season with a short-term stint at Grand Rapids, he has developed the savvy and strength to go along with skating and skill. He will be a second-half-of-the-season point producer and a major contributor as a versatile forward.

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