It’s a big year for Landon Ferraro.
The 22-year-old center is in his final season exempt from NHL waivers and needs to turn heads with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins to prove he’s ready for prime time in 2014-15.
Starting this season with a fracture in his right foot in training camp didn’t exactly help, but Ferraro has two goals and one assist in five games since debuting with the Griffins on Oct. 18.
The third-year pro is coming off a breakthrough campaign that saw him record 24 goals and 23 assists for 47 points in 72 games, as well as 16 points in 24 games en route to a Calder Cup title.
“We look to him to be in all situations for us — lots of five on five, a guy on our power play, and on our penalty play,” Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill told MLive.com. “So his impact will be real significant on our team.”
Ferraro, whose father Ray scored 400 goals in the NHL, was taken 32nd overall in 2009 and has rounded into a solid prospect. The right-shooting 6-foot, 174-pounder is an outstanding skater who can self-create offense, while he’s learning to be a reliable defensive player. As an added bonus, he’s shown the ability to play center and both wings.
The Red Wings have 10 NHL forwards under contract next season in addition to restricted free agents Tomas Tatar and Luke Glendening. Ferraro should be in the mix for the 13th and 14th spots, although the Red Wings have five unrestricted free agents and will no doubt be shopping for outside help on the open market in July.
NOTES: Winger Teemu Pulkkinen (Grand Rapids, AHL) has emerged as the top-scoring prospect on the farm with seven points in eight games, including three goals and two assists in his past four games … Forward Riley Sheahan (Grand Rapids, AHL) has missed three games with the flu … Defenseman Ben Marshsall (Minnesota, Big 10) has a knee injury … Le Journal de Montreal reports the Val-d’Or Foreurs are getting plenty of trade calls for QMJHL scoring leader Anthony Mantha … Winger Philippe Hudon (Victoriaville, QMJHL) has been slapped with a four-game suspension for checking from behind … Center Mattias Janmark (AIK, SHL) is getting the call to join the Swedish national team for the Karjala Cup. Well deserved — he’s the country’s fifth-leading scorer with 18 points in 17 games, including 12 goals … Goaltender Jared Coreau, forward Marek Tvrdon and defenseman Richard Nedomlel have been dispatched to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye, joining forward Trevor Parkes and defenseman Max Nicastro. These prospects need ice time and have a great opportunity to establish themselves — and it wasn’t going to happen in Grand Rapids. Martin Frk and Louis-Marc Aubry could use a stint in Toledo as well.
Sarah Lindenau contributed to this report.
SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT
|Almquist, Adam||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||8||0||5||5||12||+1||17|
|Callahan, Mitchell||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||8||2||1||3||2||+3||15|
|Jurco, Tomas||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||8||2||5||7||2||-1||21|
|Marchenko, Alexey||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||8||1||3||4||0||+3||4|
|Sheahan, Riley||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||5||2||0||2||4||+1||10|
|Sproul, Ryan||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||8||2||2||4||2||0||18|
|Glendening, Luke||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||5||1||2||3||4||+3||3|
|Jarnkrok, Calle||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||8||2||1||3||2||+1||18|
|Pulkkinen, Teemu||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||8||3||4||7||6||+5||21|
|Frk, Martin||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||5||0||0||0||2||-2||2|
|Tvrdon, Marek||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||1||0||0||0||0||0||3|
|Ferraro, Landon||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||5||2||1||3||4||0||13|
|Aubry, Louis-Marc||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||1||0||0||0||5||0||1|
|Nestrasil, Andrej||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||8||0||0||0||6||0||11|
|Ouellet, Xavier||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||8||0||2||2||0||+3||13|
|Nastasiuk, Zach||Owen Sound||OHL||CHL||15||8||8||16||8||-7||–|
|McNulty, Marc||Prince George||WHL||CHL||15||2||4||6||34||+1||–|
|De Haas, James||Clarkson||ECAC||NCAA||4||1||0||1||2||-1||9|
|McKee, Mike||W. Michigan||BIG-10||NCAA||2||0||0||0||4||0||0|
|Pope, David||W. Kelowna||USHL/JR-A||JR-A||10||6||4||10||2||–||–|
GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT
|Coreau, Jared||Grand Rapids||AHL||1||0||1||0||0||3.82||.846|
|Mrazek, Petr||Grand Rapids||AHL||4||1||2||1||0||3.46||.878|