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Red Wings’ Riley Barber Will Play for USA at World Championships

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Riley Barber, grand Rapids Griffins
Grand Rapids Griffins player Riley Barber will play for the Grand Rapids Griffins at the upcoming World Championships in Finland

Detroit Red Wings farm hand Riley Barber will play for USA at the upcoming World Championships in Finland.

Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic is also on the squad. Former Detroit coach Jeff Blashill is an assistant to U.S. head coach David Quinn. The tournament will be May 13-29 in Tampere and Helsinki, Finland.

Pittsburgh native Barber scored 28 goals in 49 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins. He also played four games for the Red Wings this season. This was Barber’s second season with the Red Wings. He’s a proven American League scorer, but hasn’t been able to earn any lengthy promotions to the NHL. He previously had been with the Washington Capitals’ and Montreal Canadiens’ organizations. He played four games with the Capitals in 2016-17 and nine games with the Habs in 2019-20.

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“Riley Barber had another great year,” Griffins coach Ben Simon said. “He led our team I believe with 28 goals. Finished second in the American League with 15 power-play goals. He led the American League in that shortened season last year with eight power-play goals. He led our team with 28 goals and was a big part of our power play. ”

Riley Barber finished the season with a 17-game points streak. He netted 15 goals and six assists in 13 games in April to be named AHL Player of the Month.

“He hit a little bit of a rut there when he was called up to Detroit and he hurt his knee,” Simon said. “It slowed him down a little bit. He comes back and he’s wearing a brace and he’s getting his legs back underneath him. Once he got that confidence that he’s healthy, that he’s not going to re-injure his knee, he got called up for a little bit there, got a little bit of a taste and I think that helped with the confidence. I think that overall, Riley Barber did what he was supposed to do, which is score goals.”

The 28 goals represent the second-highest goal total of his AHL career.

“He did his job,” Simon said. “Defensively, again no different than a lot of our team, we have to be a little more cognizant moving forward next year making sure were defending as well.”

 

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