The Detroit Red Wings seem to believe in Chase Pearson’s NHL potential even if they haven’t given him much of an opportunity to show it in Detroit.
The Red Wings signed Pearson to a one-year contract Thursday, even though he didn’t have the kind of season he wanted in 2021-22. He posted seven goals and 18 points in 50 games last season.
“His numbers were down,” Grand Rapids Griffins coach Ben Simon said at his season-ending press conference. “He had a couple injuries that led to a little bit of his demise this year. But we’re not giving up on Chase Pearson.”
Unless there are njuries, Pearson will have difficulty making the Red Wings coming out of training camp. GM Steve Yzerman has 14 forwards, nine defensemen and two goalies already signed. That’s 25 veterans for a 23-person roster. That doesn’t include Joe Veleno who is still waiver-exempt and defenseman Simon Edvinsson who is expected to make the team.
The 6-foot-3 center did play three games with the Detroit Red Wings, averaging nine shifts per game. His playing time average was just under seven minutes.
“I thought Chase had a really good training camp,” Simon said. “Came out of the gates pretty strong. I think Chase would be first one to tell you he was disappointed with his year.”
Pearson Has Tools
The Red Wings view Pearson, 24, as a potential role player on the parent club.
“He’s an extremely strong kid, an extremely intelligent kid,” Simon said. “We just got to make sure he’s ready to go for next season and making sure that he wants it. Chase’s biggest thing he needs to focus on is wanting it. We talked about it at the exit meetings. It wouldn’t surprise me if he goes on to have a career, whether it’s with Detroit or someone else, and plays another 15 years as an NHL player because he has a lot of the tools and physical attributes to become an NHL player.”
According to Simon, the work ethic is there with Pearson.
“He works his tail off,” Simon said.”he’s got great bloodlines, his dad (Scott Pearson) played a long time. It’s just a matter of him trying to get it all together and staying healthy Staying healthy is the big thing for him.”