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Red Wings’ Buium Ready For Next Challenge



Shai Buium, Red Wings prospect

It’s been a very busy April for Red Wings prospect Shai Buium.

It started when his University of Denver hockey team qualified for the NCAA’s Frozen Four.

Last Saturday, the Pioneers won their second NCAA title in three seasons.

Wednesday, Buium signed a three-year entry-level ($925,000 per season) contract with the Red Wings. It includes a $92,500 per year signing bonus. His AHL salary will be $80,000.

Tonight, his pro career begins when the Griffins take on the Iowa Wild in the next-to-last game of the regular season.

Buium Rejoins Ex-College Teammates

Shai Buium  (pronounced shy BOO-yuhm).rejoins former Denver teammates Carter Mazur and Antti Tuomisto, who he played with on Denver’s 2022 national title team.

“They’e some of my best friends,” Buium said. “I lived with Maz  for a year when I first got here, so we’re really close. They’re really happy for me and I’m really excited.”

Buium, a 6-foot-4, 210- pound defenseman, was the No. 36 overall pick by the Red Wings in 2021. He had his best season in 2023-24, recording seven goals and 29 assists in 43 games.

It’s hard to know exactly where Buium fits on Detroit’s prospect list until he plays regularly for the Grand Rapids next season. He could be at the level where Tuomisto and William Wallinder are at.

“I think I just took my game to another level,” Buium said. “I worked on my defensive game a lot the last two seasons, and it all came together for me this year.”

Winning a national championship was enhanced by doing do with his younger brother Zeev.

“I love that kid,” Buium said. “I love playing hockey, and I’d never had a chance to be ion the same team before and I may not get the opportunity again. I’m lucky to have had the opportunity.”

Turning Pro Came After NCAA Title Won

Buium said he considered returning for his senior season, but didn’t really consider turning pro until after winning the national title.

“Then we talked about it and I felt (turning pro) was a good idea for me,” he said,

“I don’t like to think too far ahead,” he said.”I’ve noticed that the more you think about the future, it affects you mentally. I think just going day-to-day, eager to learn, eager to get better every day, and good things will happen.”

To that end, Buium says he has not settled on where he will be this summer, although he likely will be at this summer’s NHL Draft, where Zeev Buium is expected to be a high draft choice.

What he will be doing is much more clear.

“I’m always working on my skating,” he said. “Getting stronger and getting the best shape I can, put on some muscle, work on my shot and keep getting better at the little things in my game.”

For Buium, winning second NCAA title is a goal accomplished. The road to achieving the next goal, getting to the NHL, begins tonight.