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Red Wings Release Four-Goal Piercey; Biakabutuka Still in Camp



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Flint Firebirds player Riley Piercey found the spotlight at the NHL Prospect Tournament when he scored four times for the Detroit Red Wings in a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

But the memorable performance wasn’t enough to earn him a professional contract. The undrafted Piercey was one of three players released from their amateur tryout contracts Thursday. Centers Ivan Ivan and Jake Uberti were the other players trimmed from the roster.

The Red Wings now have 57 players remaining in training camp, including defenseman Jeremie Biakabutuka. He’s the nephew of former University of Michigan football standout Tshimanga “Tim” Biakabutuka. Jeremie Biakabutuka is the only amateur tryout player still in Detroit’s camp.

The Chicago Wolves offered Biakabutuka an AHL minor league deal, but he has not accepted. Presumably, he’s hoping the Red Wings might sign him. Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde has praised Biakabutuka’s performance, but that doesn’t mean the Red Wings will offer him a deal.

Biakabutuka Plays vs ‘Hawks

Biakabutuka, 20, had four hits and one shot on goal in 16:19 of playing time for the Red Wings Wednesday in a 4-2 loss to Chicago.

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Quebec native Biakabutuka has played four seasons in the QMJHL without being drafted. Last season, he played for two QMJHL (Rimouski Oceanic and Charlottetown Islanders) clubs and totaled 10 goals and 16 assists in 60 games. He was also a combined +32.

Piercey, 20, also played against the Blackhawks. He had two hits in the game. Ivan and Uberti didn’t get into the Red Wings’ first two preseason games.

Piercey scored 27 goals last season for the Firebirds in the Ontario Hockey League. Ivan scored 31 goals last season for Cape Breton in the QMJHL. Uberti played in the Ontario Hockey League.

The Red Wings will cut down to 23 players on the roster before the 2022-23 NHL season launches.