The Detroit Red Wings have been checking several boxes on their offseason to-do list today. First, the team has officially assigned Joe Veleno to Malmo of the SHL and have changed Moritz Seider’s loan from Mannheim of the DEL to Rogle of the SHL. These changes are important, as they signify full-season loans of two of the team’s top prospects. Veleno and Seider are expected to spend the entire 2020-21 season overseas, though the SHL season does usually end in March.
In a rebuilding year for the Red Wings, getting Veleno and Seider playing right away should be considered a benefit for their development. There is no clear schedule for the AHL at this point, and given that the NHL is targeting a January start date that should be considered the very earliest a minor league season could be held. The two first-round picks will instead get to play immediately and will have a full season in one of the best leagues in the world.
The team has also reached agreements with two of their restricted free agents, signing Adam Erne and Taro Hirose to one-year contracts. Both players were not included in yesterday’s qualifying offers, and now we know why. Erne and Hirose will both be back in the organization for at least one more year.
Hirose, 24, was signed out of Michigan State University in 2019 and made an impact down the stretch for the Red Wings, scoring seven points in 10 games. That level of production wasn’t carried into this year, but the entire Red Wings team was brutal and Hirose still did register plenty of offense at the minor league level. With an improved club and higher level of play, perhaps Hirose can still become an impact player for the team.
Erne on the other hand will likely never provide much offense at the NHL level, but can still serve a role as a depth option for the Red Wings this season. In 170 career games he has just 32 points, most coming with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2018-19. Detroit GM Steve Yzerman knows Erne well from their time together with the Lightning and obviously feels he can still play a role in the organization.