Defenseman Danny DeKeyser’s whirlwind hockey season was supposed to be over when he broke his thumb in early May, but instead he’ll learn to adjust to a new set of teammates … again.
DeKeyser confirmed that he’s ready to play for the Grand Rapids Griffins – the Detroit Red Wings’ AHL affiliate – against the Syracuse Crunch in Game 1 of the Calder Cup finals on Saturday, MLive.com reports. The 23-year-old blueliner insists he’s not limited despite returning to action ahead of schedule.
“I was shooting fine, taking slappers, making hard passes, taking hits – everything,” DeKeyser said. “It feels really good.”
Getting used to being on another roster might be a little weird, if increasingly familiar.
He went from playing college hockey for Western Michigan to an abbreviated rookie run with the Detroit Red Wings in 2013, playing in 11 regular season contests and two postseason games, the last of which resulted in that injury.
Grand Rapids head coach Jeff Blashill seems confident that DeKeyser will fit right in, much like he did pretty seamlessly with the Red Wings.
“The two things that Danny does are skate great, and he’s really smart,” Blashill said. “Those types of people usually adapt very well to different situations. I expect him to adapt very well coming in to play for us.”