Small but savvy, Detroit Red Wings prospect Kirill Tyutyayev makes good first impression
Lucas Raymond smiled. “The Russian?” he said.
The Detroit Red Wings have had great success importing Russians, and the latest candidate is Kirill Tyutyayev. He was among the highlights as the Wings took their first game of the prospects tournament, 5-4, against counterparts from the Dallas Stars on Thursday in Traverse City.
“He’s a beauty,” Raymond said. “He’s great. Great guy off the ice, and two really, really nice goals today. I’m happy for him.”
Tyutyayev (pronounced Tu-tai-yev) is a long shot from general manager Steve Yzerman’s first draft in charge of the Wings, selected in the seventh round at No. 190 overall.
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The scouting report at the time described Tyutyayev as very skilled and very smart, and that’s what Raymond echoed, too.
“I haven’t seen him that much, but from what’s I’ve seen — two great goals today,” Raymond said. “He’s a smart player. He’s a bit unpredictable and I can imagine, hard to play against.”
Raymond scored, too, on a setup by Jonatan Berggren. Their line — with Joe Veleno in the middle — features a 2020 first-round pick in Raymond, a 2018 first-round pick in Veleno and a 2018 second-round pick in Berggren.
“It was nice to play with Berggie and Joe, they’re two skilled players,” Raymond said. “It was fun. Both of them are easy to play with. It feels like we can build on something and keep learning each other.”
Raymond, Berggren and Veleno are coming off good seasons in the Swedish Hockey League, though Raymond’s was disrupted by surgery last spring. Veleno played five games for the Wings at the end of last season and has a step up on competing for a spot when main camp begins next week, but Raymond and Berggren will be in the mix, too.
High-end draft picks are supposed to stand out against other prospects, but Tyutyayev went in 2019's final round, and he’s listed at 5 feet 9 and 146 pounds.
The 21-year-old has been playing in lower leagues in his native Russia (he shares his hometown of Yekaterinburg with former Wings great Pavel Datsyuk) and, last season, in Belarus. Tyutyayev has put up good offensive numbers —32 points in 43 games in 2020-21; 60 points in 60 games in 2018-19. Tyutyayev skated in Detroit a bit this summer and is earmarked to begin his North American career with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.
“He does have a pretty solid resume producing,” said Griffins coach Ben Simon, who will is also behind the bench for the Wings at the Traverse City tournament, which features a Saturday game against the St. Louis Blues and a Sunday game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“It’s great for his confidence to get on the scoresheet his first game, but he’s got to focus on all areas of his game,” Simon said. “What type of player he’s going to be at the pro level, that’s yet to be determined, but he’s off on the right foot here.”
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