Detroit Red Wings prospect Red Savage’s value to the Michigan State hockey squad goes well beyond all statistical measurements.
The Spartans are a young bunch, a squad that featured nine freshmen last season. They are looking for junior transfer Red Savage to provide leadership next winter. Savage transferred from Miami (Ohio), where he had seven goals and 14 points last season.
Spartans coach Adam Nightingale coached Savage when both were part of the National Team Development Program in Plymouth during the 2020-21 season. Savage was drafted by the Red Wings in the fourth round of the 2021 draft.
“There were a lot of schools around him, and we were happy he decided to come to Michigan State,” Nightingale said. “We had a relationship. I didn’t coach him, but he knows me, he knows our strength coach, and he’s a guy who does a really good job. He’s a guy the guys (in the room) really respect. I think the trajectory of our program is one on the rise. We’re not there yet, but we’re headed in the right direction.”
Red Savage’s Pedigree
Savage, whose given name is Redmond, is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound center who is a native of Scottsdale, Arizona. His hockey pedigree is extensive.
An older brother, Ryan, finished his eligibility at Miami last winter. His father, Brian, is a Miami alum who played for 12 seasons in the NHL, primarily with Montreal. Three of Red’s great-uncles, Larry, Wayne, and Floyd Hillman, also played in the NHL. Larry played three of his 22 pro seasons with the Red Wings.
Red Savage is among 15 newcomers to the Michigan State roster this season, and Nightingale is counting on him for leadership.
“That’s one of the biggest reasons we wanted him,” Nightingale said. “He definitely has those leadership qualities, and that will be important with a young group this year.”
Nightingale expects Savage to lead on and off the ice.
“He’s very smart, and very, very competitive,” the coach said. “He plays both sides well and all 200 feet on the ice. But it’s his compete level that separates him.”
In July, the Spartans gathered for off-season workouts and team bonding for several weeks before school begins in August.
“Now they can start becoming a team, instead of waiting for the beginning of school,” Nightingale said. “We’ve got a really good group of leaders, guys who do it the right way.”
Last year, Michigan State posted the most victories (18) in a season in more than a decade. This year, with the addition of players like Savage, Adam Nightingale hopes to continue that improvement.