Earlier this week, it was reported that Red Wings winger Filip Zadina was in talks to start next season with HC Ocelari Trinec of the Czech Extraliga. It turns out he might not be the only Detroit youngster doing so as MLive’s Ansar Khan reports that center Joe Veleno is also a part of the discussions with Trinec. The 20-year-old played his first professional season exclusively in the AHL but it’s worth noting that he was one of the youngest players in the league as he still had junior eligibility. While Veleno got off to a slow start, he was able to rebound to put up a respectable 23 points (11-12-23) in 54 games before the pandemic hit while collecting six points (1-5-6) in as many games at the World Juniors. A first-round pick (30th overall) in 2018, loaning Veleno over would allow him to get a couple of extra months of development before returning to North America when the 2020-21 season gets underway.
Elsewhere around the league:
- Bruins winger Ondrej Kase was expected to add some depth to their attack when they acquired him from Anaheim. However, the pandemic limited him to just six games with his new team. Now, he hasn’t been able to participate in practice due to being ‘unfit to participate’ and head coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters, including NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty, that he’s unsure if Kase will even be able to travel to the East’s hub in Toronto. A decision on that front is expected on Sunday. If he can’t participate, one of Anders Bjork or Karson Kuhlman could slot into a regular spot in the lineup.
- When Jonathan Dahlen decided to stay in Sweden for another year, it wasn’t viewed as a big surprise considering the year he had. However, as Sheng Peng of San Jose Hockey Now notes, the Sharks were planning on bringing the 22-year-old over to contend for a spot with them for 2020-21. Dahlen had 77 points in 51 games for Timra of the Swedish Allsvenskan, a second-tier league and while he had interest throughout the SHL which may have been better from a development perspective, he opted to re-sign at the lower level to try to help them earn a promotion to the SHL. Their season ends early enough that it’s possible that Dahlen could wind up joining San Jose as a midseason addition.
- There were no surprise cuts from the Blues’ roster. Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (Twitter link) that defenseman Tyler Tucker and goalie Joel Hofer are the two that won’t be participating. Tucker split the season between Barrie and Flint of the OHL but wasn’t eligible since his entry-level deal doesn’t start until 2020-21. Hofer technically was eligible but he also is coming off a season strictly spent in junior with WHL Portland. Louis is opting to carry three goalies on their roster which took Hofer out of the mix quickly.