It’s been an up-and-down season for @Joe Veleno.
Without question, Saturday was an “up.”
Playing in his second game since being sent down
to the Grand Rapids Griffins for the NHL’s All-Star break, Veleno registered a career-high three points on Saturday in the Griffins’ 5–3 win over the Ontario Reign.
Veleno also scored against Ontario in Grand Rapids’ 5–2 loss on Friday, bringing his overall weekend total to four points (and seven shots on goal) in two games.
The 30th-overall pick from 2018 has seven points (five goals, two assists) in nine AHL games and six points (four goals, two assists) in 31 NHL games this season.
Veleno’s goal on Saturday was the first shorthanded marker of his professional career. The 22-year-old forward found the back of the net less than seven minutes into the second period.
After streaking through the neutral zone on the forecheck, Veleno stole the puck from Reign defenseman @Jordan Spence before going in all alone and scoring an unassisted tally against goaltender @Jacob Ingham.
All three of Veleno’s points on Saturday came in special-teams situations. He recorded the secondary helper on @Jonatan Berggren’s power-play equalizer late in the first period (@Taro Hirose also assisted on Berggren’s ninth of the year, which tied the score at 1–1 with 5:54 remaining in the opening frame).
Veleno also notched a shorthanded assist in Saturday’s game, feeding @Tyler Spezia for a one-timer
in the slot that gave the Griffins a 5–2 lead at the 14:39 mark of the second period.
Only @Turner Elson recorded more shots on goal in Saturday’s game than Veleno’s four. For his efforts, Veleno was named the game’s first star
The Griffins will return to action on the road against the Iowa Wild on Feb. 10; the Red Wings’ next game is scheduled to take place in Philadelphia on Feb. 9. It remains to be seen which of those games will feature Veleno.
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