Yesterday I wrote a story about the Detroit Red Wings being in the mix for a top Finnish defenseman.
Oliwer Kaski, 23, could be Steve Yzerman's first signing as Red Wings general manager, I wrote.
In fact, Joe Veleno was Yzerman's first signing earlier this month. I overlooked this because Veleno was one of Detroit's first-round draft picks last year, and it was no surprise that the organization would sign him to an entry-level contract, whether it be Ken Holland or Yzerman doing the actual signing. Plus, he's not an unknown commodity like Kaski, who just recently started turning heads due to his breakout season.
Veleno cannot be overlooked, however. The 19-year-old put up 104 points (42G, 62A) this season with the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League). He is billed as a center in juniors, and that's always a coveted position in the NHL.
While Kaski would be Yzerman's first true free agent signing, the Veleno signing could prove to be just as, if not more, important in the long term, even if it was a no-brainer to sign a top draft pick after another dominating season in juniors.
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