Wong signs with Red Wings’ top affiliate

Lenny Neslin

Quinnipiac senior Brandon Wong signed a contract with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids (Mich.) Griffins, the top affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. Wong will make his professional debut on Thursday, and will play in the final 10 games of the Griffins’ season.

“I have friends that play at higher levels and they’re professional already,” Wong said. “I just know that everyone can play at this level so I had to be ready.”

Wong practiced with the Griffins on Tuesday and again this morning in preparation for Thursday’s game against the Milwaukee Admirals at 8 p.m.

“Brandon’s a highly-skilled center, and we’d like to see if he can contribute offensively at the AHL level,” Griffins General Manager Bob McNamara said. “He was able to do it at the college level with a strong program and in a good league, so we thought we’d bring him in and give him an opportunity.”

Wong led NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey in power-play goals with 14, and tallied 40 points this season (tied for seventh in ECAC).

“I am excited for Brandon and the opportunity he will have with Grand Rapids and the Detroit Red Wings organization,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “Brandon has been an outstanding player here at Quinnipiac University and we appreciate all his efforts both on and off the ice.”

“The seniors this year and myself have done a lot in the past four years at Quinnipiac,” Wong said. “Now it’s our turn to make our best of our professional careers.”

He is the fifth Bobcat in the last year to sign with an AHL team, joining David Marshall, Bryan Leitch, Dan Henningson and Mark Nelson of last year’s senior class.

Wong is still expected to graduate in May, and is working with his professors to complete four classes this semester.

Photo credit: Andrew Vazzano