DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings today signed center Joe Veleno to a three-year entry-level contract. Veleno, 19, recently completed his fourth season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where his Drummondville Voltigeurs fell in the third round of the playoffs to the Halifax Mooseheads.
In 16 postseason games, Veleno notched 17 points (8-9-17), a plus-seven rating and 12 penalty minutes. The Kirkland, Quebec, native enjoyed a breakout year in 2018-19, ranking among QMJHL leaders with 42 goals (7th), 62 assists (T3rd), 104 points (4th), a plus-63 rating (2nd), seven shorthanded goals (T1st), 247 shots on goal (8th), eight game-winning goals (T4th) and a 1.76 point-per-game average (2nd). He was named a 2019 QMJHL First-Team All-Star and was a finalist for the league's most valuable player. Veleno also missed several weeks of the regular season while competing for Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, where he recorded two assists in five games.
A first-round pick (30th overall) of the Red Wings in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Veleno has skated in 230 total QMJHL games with Drummondville and the Saint John Sea Dogs since 2015-16, racking up 266 points (90-176-266), a plus-82 rating and 106 penalty minutes, in addition to 46 points (27-19-46), a plus-10 rating and 34 penalty minutes in 59 postseason games. He captured the 2017 QMJHL championship with Saint John, registering 11 points (8-3-11) in 18 playoff games. Veleno has been a regular for Hockey Canada on the international stage, highlighted by a gold medal win at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, in which he served as captain and paced the team with seven points (2-5-7) in five games. He also logged three points (0-3-3) in four games at the 2018 World Under-18 Championship and four points (1-3-4) for Canada Black at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Joe Veleno, Center
Born Jan 13 2000 -- Kirkland, PQ
Height 6.01 -- Weight 191 -- Shoots L
Selected by Detroit Red Wings round 1 #30 overall 2018 NHL Entry Draft