The Grand Rapids Griffins have added another young talent to their burgeoning list of prospects.

Defenseman Andrew Gibson has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Detroit Red Wings that will go into effect next season; the Red Wings assigned the 19-year-old to Grand Rapids on an amateur tryout agreement.

Selected by Detroit in the second round of the 2023 NHL Draft, Gibson had a breakthrough performance in his second full campaign in the Ontario Hockey League with the Soo Greyhounds this season. He produced 44 points (12 goals, 32 assists) while playing all 68 games for the club in the regular season, then chipped in two assists in 11 playoff games.

The Griffins won Game 1 of their best-of-five Central Division Semifinal series against Rockford on Saturday night, 3-2 in overtime. They host Game 2 on Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.

The Colorado Eagles were without forward Nikolai Kovalenko for the deciding game of their first-round series with Abbotsford last night.

Kovalenko was down the road in Denver, making his National Hockey League debut in Game 4 of the Colorado Avalanche’s Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Winnipeg Jets. He wore the same number 51 that his father, Andrei, wore for the Avs in 1995-96.

A sixth-round choice by Colorado in the 2018 NHL Draft, Kovalenko joined the Eagles earlier this month and notched a goal and two assists in four regular-season games. He also scored in their 5-4 overtime victory over Abbotsford in Game 2 on Friday night.

Kovalenko and the Avalanche defeated Winnipeg, 5-1, to take a 3-1 series lead. The Eagles, meanwhile, saw their season come to an end with a 2-1 OT loss to the Canucks.

Kovalenko is the 96th AHL player to make his NHL debut this season.

― with files from Patrick Williams


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