Red Wings defensive prospect Robbie Russo was named CCM/AHL player of the week after posting two goals and five assists through four games last week. Russo is a newcomer to the Red Wings farm system, as he was acquired in free agency after the New York Islanders did not offer him a contract after his four-year tenure with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish was up. In his senior year, Russo was named to the NCAA's Second All-American and First All-Star Team when he 41 points through 40 games.
The former 2011 fourth-rounder now has 27 points (four goals, 23 assists) and a league-leading +37. Russo is making a statement that he could have earned the next call up with the Red Wings when needed. I wouldn't be surprised if the team gave him a real shot at making the roster next season as well.
More from the AHL's press release:
The American Hockey League announced today that Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Robbie Russo has been selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 28, 2016.
Russo tallied two goals and five assists for seven points along with a plus-8 rating in four games for Grand Rapids last week.
Russo, who entered last week’s action with just four points in his previous 25 contests, picked up a pair of assists on Tuesday to help the Griffins to a 5-0 win at Chicago. He tallied two more assists on Friday as Grand Rapids defeated Iowa, 4-1, and scored the winning goal in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over the Wild. Russo capped the week by scoring the game-tying goal with 2:42 left in regulation and then assisting on the overtime winner as the Griffins downed Chicago, 4-3, on Sunday evening.
For the season, Russo has totaled four goals and 23 assists for 27 points in 50 games with Grand Rapids, and leads all AHL skaters with a plus/minus rating of plus-37. The rookie blueliner spent the last four seasons at the University of Notre Dame, serving as team captain as a senior in 2014-15. A 23-year-old native of Westmont, Ill., Russo was originally a fourth-round selection by the New York Islanders in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and signed as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings on Aug. 16, 2015.
In recognition of his achievement, Russo will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Griffins home game.