Take a moment to bask in some glory while the Detroit Red Wings continue to rot in the depths of the National Hockey League. Two Red Wings prospects in Joe Veleno and Jared McIsaac have taken home gold medals as a part of Team Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
For those who did not tune in to watch the Canadians defeat the Russians 4-3 in a comeback victory, the best summary would be; poor officiating by the referees and perseverance from Team Canada. Team Canada’s Alexis Lafreniere was one of the big reasons to tune in for many, as he is projected to be the number one overall selection (hopefully by the Detroit Red Wings) in this summer’s 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
For Red Wings fans, Joe Veleno was assigned an assistant captain role and was the staple second-line center behind captain Barret Hayton who played through an injury in the gold medal game.
Veleno would log over twenty-five minutes of ice time for team Canada, which was more than any other Canadian player. He would walk away with a gold medal and an assist on the day while managing two shots. Throughout the entire tournament, Veleno would score once, with five helpers for six points over six games.
Team Canada head coach Dale Hunter liked getting Veleno involved; he was a plus-3 over the tournament and carried the highest average time-on-ice (ATOI) for the entire team, even defenseman.
Through twenty-nine games with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Veleno has five goals and seven assists for twelve points but is a minus-22 on the season. All-in-all, Veleno looked good for the Canadian team, and will now return to the Griffins.
The Red Wings other 2019 IIHF World Juniors Champion was Jared McIsaac, who has finally returned to the ice after last season’s shoulder surgery. Now, McIsaac was a little more transparent for Team Canada, not having as good of a tournament as someone like Addison Calen, who captured eight points over seven games.
McIsaac would ultimately finish with one goal and three assists for four points over seven games while maintaining a plus-four rating. He was the middle of the pack defenseman for Team Canada, who is still getting back into the swing of things on the ice. McIsaac will return to Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), where he has logged three games with two assists for the Halifax Mooseheads.
The two Red Wings top prospects will take home gold medals, but that is not all for Red Wings fans. Team Sweden had two Red Wings who would take home bronze medals after their victory over Finland.
Forward Jonatan Berggren and goaltender Jesper Eliasson were the two prospects who would take home bronze medals for the Swedish team. Besides these four players, the Red Wings top draft pick, Moritz Seider had a phenomenal tournament for the German squad.
Seider had six assists over seven games, but was the team’s captain, receiving glowing reviews of his leadership from teammates. Seider played very well though his team’s outcome was not favorable. All-in-all, it was a good tournament for the Red Wings prospects, including McIsaac and Veleno, who would walk away with gold medals.