Weighing out the Options - Landon Ferraro

Just a couple of familiar faces... - Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

What to do with Lando the Mando?

Name: Landon Ferraro Alias: "Lando" or "Ferrari"
Position: C Birthdate: 8/8/1991
Shoots: R Age: 22 Years
Height: 6'0" Birthplace: Trail, B.C.
Weight: 174 Drafted: #32 2nd Rd 2009
Contract Signed: April 30, 2010
Contract: On the final year of 3yr Entry Level Deal
Status: RFA at the end of the 2013-2014 season
Current Salary: AHL $65,000 NHL $675,000 Cap Hit $685,000

Regular Season
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2006-07 Red Deer Rebels WHL 4 0 0 0 0 -2
2007-08 Red Deer Rebels WHL 54 13 11 24 65 -24
2008-09 Red Deer Rebels WHL 68 37 18 55 99 -23
2009-10 Red Deer Rebels WHL 53 16 30 46 55 -18
2009-10 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 2 0 0 0 0 0
2010-11 Everett Silvertips WHL 41 10 17 27 51 -1
2011-12 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 56 9 11 20 47 -6
2012-13 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 72 24 23 47 44 6
2013-14 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 48 12 14 26 33 1




"First of all, you’ve got the hockey history, the bloodlines of his father … He’s got good offensive skills and he competes hard. He just has to get stronger … He’s just a solid all-around player … If everything works out the way you project, you hope he’s going to be a second-line forward. He’s got the head and the hands."Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill (June 2009)


"Landon’s certainly been a big part of our team and any success we’ve had. Landon plays in all situations — five-on-five, power play, penalty kill and last minute, up a goal and down a goal, and that speaks to the versatility in his game." — Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill (February 2013)

Who?

There's a reason why we call him "Ferrari." Can you guess why? Well it's not because his cap-hit costs about what a Ferrari would set you back, but more along the lines of the fact that he has some fantastic wheels. Landon won the fastest skater competition at the CHL Top Prospects Game in 2009. He was drafted as a 2nd line center in 2009, and the scouts have labeled him as a 2-way player. After watching him play for a couple of years, I can say that his 2-way game is solid. He plays a 200 ft. game, that's for sure. If you were to ask me last year, after the Griffins won the Calder Cup what I thought of Landon, I would have thrown confetti in the air and done cartwheels for you. If you were to ask me today, I would probably not do that. Let's be clear, it's not because he is bad. Landon is a great hockey player with a lot of hockey history in his bloodline. Unfortunately after a season where we signed a 2nd line center, and players like Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening have come up to Detroit and made it clear that they are ready to go, I just don't see where Landon fits in this logjam of forwards.

It is important for all Detroit fans alike to also take note that Ferraro had an impressive playoff run last year in Grand Rapids' journey to hoist the Calder cup. He notched 16 points (5 goals and 11 assists) in 24 games. That was good enough to tie third along with Luke Glendening for most points.

Landon was drafted in hopes to be a 2nd line center. The problem is, he isn't a very big guy and he doesn't play a very "big & heavy," which puts the kibosh on his abilities at 3rd or 4th line center for this team. He has greatly improved on his defensive and penalty kill abilities, which are always welcomed commodities for any team. With the departing contracts of players like Patrick Eaves, Mikael Samuelsson, Todd Bertuzzi, and Dan Cleary (fingers crossed), there is a possibility that Ferraro could be converted to play the wing. I have no idea how that will pan out, but I do know he has played some time on the wing before. But is that the right move?

My opinion:

Landon Ferraro has been in the Detroit system since the 2011-2012 season. He has yet to get one call-up. So basically, we have no idea what he is going to look like on the big stage. If Landon isn't able to serve some time in the NHL before season's end, he might be usable in trades during the summer and draft time. The return wouldn't be big, but he's on track to being a back to back 40+ point player in the AHL with 2-way and PK abilities. Landon's stats don't particularly "WOW" anyone this season, but it is important to note that he started the season with a bum foot which greatly hindered his production. There is a possibility that Detroit hangs onto Landon due to the fact that he was a 32nd overall pick. If that's the case, I would see Landon taking over the same role of a player like Patrick Eaves. A strong 3rd or 4th line player with strong defensive and PK abilities who can also bring some offense to the table. I will say this, if that is what becomes of him, it would be extremely entertaining watching Landon Ferraro and Darren Helm's speed side by side. That's a duo with pure speed that would be difficult for any team to match.

Conclusion:

I think (I hope) we will see Landon Ferraro play a game or two in the NHL before season's end. It would be a serious disservice to him and his skillset not to. If by chance we do not see him, then I'm quite unsure what is to actually become of him. It is a huge gamble to take a player like this and throw him into the pro style without any seasoning... But I guess weirder things have happened. We've seen players like Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco, and Luke Glendening do a fantastic job in taking on the roles of injured players this season... So that should give Detroit some confidence if they decide to hold onto Landon. In light of the devastating back injury to our captain Henrik Zetterberg, we could see a chance for Ferraro & company to make their long awaited NHL debuts. Time will tell...


Recent articles related to Landon Ferraro:
Ferraro’s time is now to push for spot | Red Wings Central
Ferraro under the gun during stretch run | Red Wings Central

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