The future may not quite be here… but it’s getting closer.
Detroit Red Wings forwards Dylan Larkin, Lucas Raymond, and Joe Veleno combined to score a beautiful power-play goal during the third period of Saturday’s 5-1 pre-season win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The tally, which gave the Red Wings a 4-1 lead with just 5:16 remaining in regulation time, effectively put the game out of reach.
Veleno, the Red Wings’ second first-round pick from the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, finished off a superb passing play by fellow Red Wings first-rounders Raymond and Larkin for his first goal of the pre-season.
Here’s the video of the goal, as shared by the Red Wings’ official Twitter account:
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It’s hard not to get excited about Lucas Raymond when he can make passes like that. The 2020 fourth-overall pick followed up this assist with another excellent set-up to Larkin on Detroit’s fifth goal of the game.
In addition to his assist on Veleno’s marker, Larkin scored two goals of his own in his pre-season debut. Detroit’s captain is entering the penultimate season of his five-year contract which annually pays him $6.1 million. He’ll be a 26-year-old unrestricted free agent when it expires in the summer of 2023.
As for the goal-scorer: Veleno will turn 22 next January. He has two years remaining on his contract at an $891,167 cap hit. There’s a pretty good chance he slots in behind Larkin and Pius Suter as Detroit’s third-line centre in 2021–22, with Robby Fabbri, Tyler Bertuzzi, Raymond, Filip Zadina, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Adam Erne slotting in as the top-nine wingers out of training camp (Jakub Vrána will undoubtedly take one of those spots when he returns).
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Taro Hirose and Chase Pearson also scored for Detroit on Saturday. The Red Wings will return to action Sunday afternoon when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at 12:00 p.m. ET.