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Red Wings Sign Defenseman Robbie Russo to Two-Year Deal

On Tuesday night, the Detroit Red Wings signed 24-year-old Robbie Russo to a two-way, two-year extension, per MLive.com’s Ansar Khan.

Russo played 19 games with the Red Wings last season, scoring no points. Before being called up, he played 58 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins, scoring seven goals and adding 25 assists. He also added seven assists in 19 playoff games for the Griffins.

Russo made his NHL debut in March after Ryan Sproul suffered a sprained knee and was out for the rest of the season.

The signing of Russo won’t affect Andreas Athanasiou’s contract — or lack thereof — as Russo’s contract can be buried in the minors.

The sample size on Russo is small, so it’s hard to get a grasp of how successful he’ll be in the NHL. He was one of the few Red Wings to have a five on five adjusted shot attempt percentage of above 50 (51.44), according to NaturalStatTrick, but a lot of that is due to the small sample size.

He spent most of his time on the ice with Xavier Ouellet (228 minutes), and the pair had a 51.05 five on five adjusted shot attempt percentage. Russo’s shot attempt percentage went up to 53.14 without Ouellet, while Ouellet’s dropped to 44.98 without Russo. Two hundred minutes is a decent sample size, but nothing to proclaim Russo as a shutdown defender.

Against elite competition, Russo was the only Red Wings defenseman to have a shot attempt percentage at 50 or above (50), according to PuckIQ. Again, sample size no doubt played a factor, but it’s a good sign to see him succeed against elite-level competition.