Griffins Review: Veleno Scores Three in Opening Weekend

Detroit Red Wings minor league team, the Grand Rapids Griffins, kicked off their season with a  home game and a road game, winning their home opener 6-1 and dropping their second 7-3. There were some performances relevant to Detroit fans in the Griffins first two games of the 2021-22 season.

Veleno Still Looks Strong

Plenty of fans weren’t too happy with the decision to send him Joe Veleno down to the minors, but it looks like his push to the main roster hasn’t slowed down. He nabbed a goal in the Griffin’s 6-1 win over the Rockford IceHogs and netted two in Saturday’s loss to the Milwaukee Admirals, consistently of the strongest players on the ice. Jeff Blashill also seems to be keeping track of his quick progression in Grand Rapids:

Brattstrom Off to Rocky Start

Victor Brattstrom is at a crossroads with the organization. At 24 years old, he’s on his final year of his entry level contract with the Red Wings – he’s going to have to impress with Grand Rapids if he wants to stick.

Well, giving up six goals and finishing with a .800 save percentage definitely wasn’t the best way to start his career with the Griffins. Don’t give up on Brattstrom after just one rough showing, there’s plenty of room left in the season to make up for a bad start.

Minor Notes:
  • Kirill Tyutyayev nabbed a couple of assists in his first two games as a Griffin. Keep an eye on the former seventh round pick in Grand Rapids this year – was that preseason performance a fluke, or is the young Russian winger sneaky-good?
  • After leading the team in assists and finishing second in total points, Taro Hirose has kept scoring with the Griffins so far. He nabbed three assist in Grand Rapid’s first two. He was extended in the off-season but failed to make the team. This seemed like his last opportunity to make a push for a regular spot on the roster, and it looks like he’ll be depth in case of injury yet again.
  • Jonatan Berggren had a nifty assist in his first game with the Griffins. After an excellent year in the Swedish Hockey League, Berggren is one of the top prospects in Grand Rapids to keep an eye on this year.