Red Wings sign Joe Veleno to one-year deal worth $825,000

Detroit News

The Red Wings signed restricted free agent center Joe Veleno to a one-year contract worth $825,000.

Veleno, 23, spent last season with the Red Wing and set career highs in games played (81), goals (9), assists (11), points (20) and hits (152).

Veleno is a 6-foot-1, 200-pound forward who was a 2018 first-round pick (30th overall) of the Wings.

Veleno was the last un-signed player for general manager Steve Yzerman to secure, in what has been a busy off-season.

With the current roster, Veleno projects to center the fourth-line, although with the flexibility coach Derek Lalonde has at his disposal, a move to wing could occur for Veleno.

Lalonde, at his season-ending press conference, was direct in his opinion he wanted to see more out of young forwards Veleno and Jonatan Berggren this coming season.

“They took some steps but they need more growth,” Lalonde said. “I have no problem saying they took a dip in their game towards the end of the year. It’s understandable for young players, we asked a lot of those guys.

“After the (trade) deadline their role increased and there was an obvious dip in their production, and some of their five-on-five play. It’s natural for young players. It’s valuable to get those types of minutes in games.

“Now it’s on them. It’s a very important offseason.”

X: @tkulfan

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