Detroit Red Wings: Joe Veleno returns from SHL to finish out 2020-21

(Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
(Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings have seen one of their top organization prospects make his way back to the United States. Forward Joe Veleno has returned from his time overseas playing in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) for the Malmö Redhawks.

In 2018, the Detroit Red Wings selected Joe Veleno with the 30th overall selection, and the Canadian-born prospect has been highly touted ever since. When the new General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman got to the organization, the thought was that Veleno could be something special for this organization.

He has not played a game for the Red Wings yet but has been assigned to the team’s taxi squad as the season begins to wind down. Veleno was assigned number 90 and will finish out the 2020-21 season in North America.

He has played for the Grand Rapids Griffins after coming out of the QMJHL, where he scored a ton of points, 104 over 59 games, to be exact, for the Drummondville Voltigeurs. He spent the 2019-20 season in Grand Rapids, but when COVID-19 shut things down and the SHL started up before other leagues, Veleno was sent overseas to get back on the ice as soon as possible.

Detroit Red Wings prospect Joe Veleno has returned from overseas and will finish out 2020-21 for the organization.

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As the Red Wings continue to approach the end of their season, eight games remain. Veleno has not cracked the roster and has been stationed on the taxi squad, but nonetheless, he is back in North America.

He performed quite well over in Sweden; he scored 11 goals, added nine helpers, and totaled 20 points over 46 games.

Veleno had a couple of exceptional plays that were put up on social media.

Veleno was able to fine-tune some of his offensive skills and continue to increase that aspect of his game.

The ideal thing for Veleno at this time would be to make some vast improvements by the time 2021-22 rolls around.

With the signing of Lucas Raymond for 2021-22, the number four overall selection in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Veleno might find himself getting some work in at prospect camp ahead of next season. But for now, he will cross the 2020-21 season finish line with the Red Wings organization after his stint overseas.

Veleno’s abilities as a centerman look to be legit, and he should be able to be an impressive player for the Red Wings offense in coming years. Veleno could very well wind up being that playmaking centerman to anchor around Raymond or Filip Zadina.

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Time will tell, but it is nice to see Veleno back from his stint overseas, and maybe he will crack the lineup for a game or two as the countdown begins with hopes of a lottery pick.