Where is the Joe Veleno the Detroit Red Wings were expecting?

(James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)
(James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings are continuing to build out their roster and working towards the end of the rebuild. That means some of the prospects from the end of the Holland-era and the beginning of the Yerman-era are starting to poke through.

Watching the Detroit Red Wings rookie sensation duo Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider has left fans excited for how things will shake out. However, when it comes to Joe Veleno, there is far less to be excited about for his performance.

Veleno has been underwhelming, and it is not boding well for the former first-round pick. If the Red Wings are going to continue building their offense with these younger prospects/players, it’s hard to think that this is going to work out well.

When it comes to Veleno’s performance, it’s been dicey. In his time with the Red Wings organization, he’s shown his abilities well in the minors, but his NHL experience is a far cry from that. The Red Wings are giving him opportunities, he just needs to prove himself.

Detroit Red Wings forward Joe Veleno is not living up to expectations.

In the 2020-21 season, Veleno was brought up to the NHL for just a handful of games. Never really in a continuous stint. His five-game audition was nothing special; he logged just one goal, landing only eight shots on net to pair. There is nothing overly special about the performance, but it was his debut.

This season his performance has been lengthened in a larger opportunity for the Red Wings to see Veleno out in the NHL. Throughout the 2021-22 season, Veleno has logged19 games for the Red Wings over multiple stints.

Veleno has picked up three goals and one assist to grab four points total. Pretty lackluster from a former first-round pick. The expectations are much higher, or at least should be. Veleno should be expected to be a quality top-six center for the Red Wings.

The discussion about captain Dylan Larkin being a true 1A  guy and being more of a 1B center is still to be had, but even then, Veleno is a part of the plans. However, his performance so far is a bit concerning. There’s always the possibility of some early-career struggles and that he will find his footing down the line.

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But the way things appear right now, if nothing changes, Veleno may wind up being a bit of a bust from what the Red Wings were expecting. Veleno has got to change things to start looking more like the player the Red Wings were hoping he would be.