As the Red Wings head for the earliest end to a season in a generation, the last few games are still as important as ever for the team’s young prospects.
Matt Lorito, a 26-year-old free agent from Oakville, Ontario signed with Detroit on July 1st, 2016. He’s been tearing up the AHL this year, which should come as no surprise after a sterling collegiate career with Brown University. The 5’9, 170 lbs forward recorded 47 goals and 59 assists for 106 points in 118 games with Brown University, and has amassed 21 goals and 33 assists for 54 points in 59 games with the Grand Rapids Griffons this season.
Lorito will likely step in for 22-year-old Andreas Athanasiou, who was the victim of a dirty blindside crosscheck from Victor Rask in a tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes on March 27th. Then he took a stick to the teeth in a game against Toronto on April 4th. Athanasiou has been in and out of the lineup since.
Listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury, the call-up of Lorito suggests that Athanasiou will not be playing on Saturday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Lorito has excelled at every level of hockey he’s competed in so far, and his 42 goals and 120 points across 141 AHL games suggest he’s ready for the NHL. Lorito will be looking to impress this weekend if he gets a chance to take to the ice in Detroit’s two remaining games this season.