Landon Ferraro has the rest of the season and training camp to show the Detroit Red Wings he belongs in the NHL — otherwise he’ll be riding the waiver wire.
The 6-foot, 179-pound center, in his third American Hockey League season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, has 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points, along with a plus-2 rating, in 46 games. His statistics are lower than expected — and lower than his points-per-game pace in 2012-13 — but head coach Jeff Blashill predicts a more productive finish to the campaign.
“I’ll think he’ll end up with more (points) than what he’s projected,” Blashill said. “The last 30 games, you’re going to see a very offensive Landon Ferraro and a very productive Landon Ferraro. He’s done lots of real good things and it just hasn’t resulted in point production that I think it’s going to. If he continues to do those good things over time, the point production will come.”
He’s already trending in the right direction. In his past 11 games, Ferraro has a modest five goals and three assists, his most productive stretch of the season.
The 22-year-old, whose father Ray scored 408 NHL goals during his 1,258-game career from 1984 to 2002, is the type of player who has been used in every situation during his time in the AHL, from five-on-five to the power play to the penalty kill. His best assets are his blazing speed, terrific shot and his ability to generate offensive chances on his own.
Selected in the second round, 32nd overall, in 2009, he put up 24 goals among 47 points as an AHL sophomore last season and was a key cog in the Griffins’ run to the Calder Cup last May, finishing fourth in team scoring with 16 points in 24 games.
Ferraro requires waivers to return to the minors next season along with forwards Riley Sheahan, Mitchell Callahan and possibly Luke Glendening, who is waiver-exempt for 27 more regular-season and playoff games. The Red Wings, meanwhile, have at least 10 returning forwards excluding unrestricted free agents and waiver-exempt Tomas Jurco and Anthony Mantha.
While a productive finish will help Ferraro’s cause, so too will his versatility. He was used at center in 2012-13 and has seen time on both wings this season. With a little more work on the finer details of his all-around game, Ferraro could be a valuable NHL asset as a utility player.
“It will be interesting to see if he can ultimately be good at both (positions),” Blashill said. “That gives him 12 positions on an NHL team instead of four. That’s an important thing. I think he’s becoming a more well-rounded player, more prepared to play wing or center.”
NOTES: Winger Teemu Pulkkinen (Grand Rapids, AHL) has climbed into a tie for 11th in AHL scoring with his team-leading 41 points in 49 games. His plus-16 rating is tied with Mitchell Callahan for best on the team and sixth in the league while his 142 shots are 13th in the AHL … With 14 points in his past 12 games, defenseman Adam Almquist (Grand Rapids, AHL) is sixth in league defense scoring and just five points away from second spot behind prolific Toronto Marlies blueliner T.J. Brennan, who has a league-best 51 points … Right-winger Mitchell Callahan (Grand Rapids, AHL) now has a team-best 19 goals, one more than Pulkkinen. That’s an impressive 31-goal pace over an 82-game campaign for the gritty forward and leaves him tied for ninth in the AHL … Right-winger Martin Frk (Grand Rapids, AHL) finally found the net, recording a goal and an assist on Feb. 8 against the Rochester Americans … Right-winger Anthony Mantha (Val-d’Or, QMJHL) recorded his fifth five-point game of the season on Feb. 9 and is three points away from the 100-point plateau, although his league-leading point total is now just five points ahead of New York Rangers third-rounder Anthony Duclair with 14 games remaining. Dating back to January 2012, Mantha has a remarkable 120 goals in his past 144 games … Right-winger Zach Nastasiuk (Owen Sound, OHL) has been out with an upper-body injury but isn’t expected to miss much time … Center Luke Glendening can’t be assigned to Grand Rapids during the Olympic break because of NHL regulations, but Riley Sheahan was sent back. Sheahan has three goals and eight assists in 18 games with Detroit … Left-winger Mattias Janmark (AIK, SHL) has just one goal, along with three assists, in his past 10 games.
Sarah Lindenau contributed to this report.
SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT
|Almquist, Adam||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||46||2||31||33||42||+1||84|
|Callahan, Mitchell||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||49||19||8||27||43||+16||137|
|Jurco, Tomas||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||32||13||19||32||14||+10||91|
|Marchenko, Alexey||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||44||3||15||18||10||+14||31|
|Sheahan, Riley||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||28||8||10||18||10||+1||49|
|Sproul, Ryan||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||48||8||15||23||32||+5||107|
|Glendening, Luke||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||18||5||7||12||18||+8||26|
|Jarnkrok, Calle||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||49||10||16||26||14||+15||79|
|Pulkkinen, Teemu||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||49||18||23||41||26||+16||142|
|Frk, Martin||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||27||1||3||4||14||-12||27|
|Jensen, Nick||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||21||0||0||0||4||+7||12|
|Tvrdon, Marek||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||1||0||0||0||0||0||3|
|Ferraro, Landon||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||46||12||14||26||31||+2||127|
|Aubry, Louis-Marc||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||15||1||0||1||14||-3||22|
|Fournier, Gleason||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||11||0||0||0||0||+3||6|
|Parkes, Trevor||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||16||1||2||3||13||+2||24|
|Nestrasil, Andrej||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||43||5||8||13||12||-4||47|
|Ouellet, Xavier||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||46||4||9||13||20||+4||61|
|Nedomlel, Richard||Grand Rapids||AHL||PRO||3||0||0||0||2||-2||1|
|Nastasiuk, Zach||Owen Sound||OHL||CHL||50||17||23||40||22||-11||–|
|McNulty, Marc||Prince George||WHL||CHL||52||13||21||34||96||0||–|
|De Haas, James||Clarkson||ECAC||NCAA||28||3||7||10||14||-10||36|
|McKee, Mike||W. Michigan||BIG-10||NCAA||11||0||0||0||46||0||1|
|Pope, David||W. Kelowna||USHL/JR-A||JR-A||37||18||15||33||18||–||–|
GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT
|Coreau, Jared||Grand Rapids||AHL||3||0||2||0||0||4.01||.860|
|Mrazek, Petr||Grand Rapids||AHL||16||11||4||1||1||2.26||.921|
|McCollum, Thomas||Grand Rapids||AHL||33||19||9||1||2||2.28||.924|