GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday reassigned forward Zach Nastasiuk and rookie defenseman Vili Saarijarvi from the Grand Rapids Griffins to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. In addition, the Griffins have assigned rookie defenseman Patrick McCarron to Toledo.
All three players did not skate in the Griffins’ season-opening games last weekend.
Detroit’s second choice, 73rd overall, in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Saarijarvi scored 31 points (11-20—31) in 34 regular season games with the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads in 2016-17 before leading all team defensemen with 15 points (5-10—15) in 20 playoff appearances. Saarijarvi has represented his home country of Finland at the 2017 and 2016 World Junior Championships and won gold in 2016. The 5-foot-10, 178-pound blueliner made his pro debut with the Walleye at the end of the 2015-16 campaign, tallying four points (1-3—4) in five games.
Detroit’s second choice, 48th overall, in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Nastasiuk contributed one assist in seven games with the Griffins last season while adding 34 points (13-21—34) in 47 appearances in Toledo. Since joining the Griffins at the end of the 2013-14 season, the 6-foot-2, 202-pound winger has played 45 games in the AHL, recording nine points (3-6—9) and four penalty minutes. In 72 games with the Walleye since 2015-16, Nastasiuk has logged 54 points (23-31—54).
McCarron is in his first year as a pro after spending the previous four with the Cornell University Big Red, where he accumulated 50 points (12-38—50) and 81 PIM in 123 games. As a senior in 2016-17, McCarron was an All-Ivy League Second Team selection after ranking second on the team in scoring from his blueline position with 25 points (6-19—25) in 35 games and helping the Big Red reach the NCAA Tournament. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound defenseman made his pro debut with the Griffins in the 2016-17 regular season finale at Milwaukee and picked up his first pro point on an assist.
After splitting their opening-weekend games against Manitoba, the Griffins hit the road for a three-game road trip beginning Friday at San Jose. Grand Rapids returns to Van Andel Arena on Oct. 21 when it will host the Hershey Bears for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
Single-game tickets are currently on sale. Fans can secure their full-season, select-season or group ticket packages by calling (616) 774-4585 ext. 2 or visit griffinshockey.com for more information.