3 players that need to step up for the Detroit Red Wings before it's too late

The Detroit Red Wings need someone to step up during this rough stretch before it's too late.

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The Detroit Red Wings need Joe Veleno to step up his game.

Similar to Copp, the Detroit Red Wings need to squeeze every ounce of production from Joe Veleno. Veleno, 24, is enjoying the best season of his young career, but with Dylan Larkin out at least another week, the Red Wings need the young, speedy center to crank it up another notch.

Veleno has scored a career-high 11 goals and 26 points (and counting) this season, splitting his time between skating as a center and a winger. He's averaged under 15 minutes per night this year and is a minus-13. The pending restricted free agent is under 50% in the faceoff circle and has maintained a Corsi For Percentage of 45.8. His Relative Corsi For Percentage is -0.4, which is less than ideal.

Although the possession numbers are below average, there are a few promising signs when you start to dissect Veleno's game. He's produced a stellar 15.9% shooting percentage this season and ranks third on the Red Wings behind Robby Fabbri (23.2) and Compher (19.2), burying those 11 goals on just 69 shots, putting him in the 90th percentile league-wide. The problem; Veleno needs to put more pucks toward the net, his 69 shots are below the 50th percentile. That said, he's still producing 1.8 points per 60/minutes.

Things didn't go well for the Larkin-less Detroit Red Wings in Colorado or Arizona. Head coach Derek Lalonde promoted Veleno to Detroit's top unit, where he'd center Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane. Over the past two games in that role, the Montreal native has gone pointless and is a minus-1, averaging over 16 minutes. Veleno has produced one goal and three assists over his past 11 games with a 9.1% shooting percentage. If the Red Wings hope to remain afloat until their top player returns to the lineup, they need Veleno to elevate his game, especially when playing a scoring-type role with those two high-end scoring wingers.