Detroit Red Wings: Mitchell Stephens will cause issues for prospects

(John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
(John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings will start training camp about a month from now, and looking ahead; there’s plenty to be excited about and plenty to ponder. With the moves this offseason, it should make for a fun couple of weeks through training camp ahead of the season.

One of those offseason moves was the trade to acquire forward Mitchell Stephens from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman wanted to bring another one of his former draft picks to his new home.

Stephens, a 24-year-old forward, has spent the last six years in Tampa Bay, playing games in just two of those seasons. He was drafted in the second round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft but has not shown much of anything in his time in the NHL.

It’s been short stints with the Lightning at the NHL level; over two seasons, he has played a total of 45 games. In total, he has just three goals and four assists for seven points which is not the type of numbers any player is hoping for.

Mitchell Stephens is going to clog things for Detroit Red Wings prospects.

More from Detroit Jock City

While this offseason, the Red Wings did make some additions and saw some players depart. Buying out Frans Nielsen was something that opens up a spot in the forwards that should be given to Joe Veleno.

However, it seems like Mitchell Stephens is going to be dropped into the lineup, meaning he will likely wind up forcing players like Veleno in the minors. The bottom line is, the higher-level prospects need to get their feet wet, and Stephens is not one of those guys.

Sure, Stephens can get his crack at things in the NHL in a new home; maybe he proves me wrong and turns out to be Adam Erne 2.0 and figure out how to score. The odds are not in his favor, and if there were an option, having Veleno, there would be my choice.

It’s decisions like that which will keep things interesting in the coming weeks. Seeing stuff that the Red Wings are going to keep guys like Veleno and Lucas Raymond in the minors is not as exciting. While Raymond may need an AHL stint before jumping in, Veleno has done his time in the minors and should be given the opportunity to make the jump.

Must Read. Detroit Red Wings: Alex Nedeljkovic will be on Calder Trophy watch. light

The battles and media in training camp will be fun to watch, but if Stephens ends up kicking Veleno to the AHL, it’s going to become a frustrating time for Red Wings fans. Trust the Yzerplan… but that is not it.