Just to tie a bow on a story that started back in June (if not earlier for prospect watchers), Notre Dame defenseman Robbie Russo has joined the Detroit Red Wings after not signing with the Islanders.
Russo was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft while with the U.S. National Development Team. A team captain this year for the Fighting Irish, he finished with 15 goals and 26 assists and was named a second team All American. He spent part of his junior season on the sidelines after being declared academically ineligible.
Our pals at Winging it in Motown see Russo as a unique super powered mutant the Red Wings have been using Cerebro to search the world for known as a "right-handed defenseman."
If there's one thing that I'm looking at that answers the question of why Ken Holland opted to give this kid a chance, it's that Russo possesses the mythical right-handedness from the blue line. If nothing else, he provides a nice depth option that should be able to contribute greatly in Grand Rapids.
As for the Islanders, the safe assumption is that they didn't see Russo breaking into an NHL level defense corps that's mostly penciled in already. At 22-years-old, Russo isn't much younger than starters Nick Leddy, Calvin deHaan or Travis Hamonic, who are all 25 or 24. And with prospects Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield, Kevin Czuczman and Adam Pelech in the queue, the room for Russo is limited.
It's never easy to lose a prospect and face the anxiety of wondering what he'll become. Jared Spurgeon's ongoing career with the Wild still rankles some, while Brenden Kichton continues waiting his turn with Winnipeg. We won't know Russo's fate for some time.
Maybe this will reinvigorate that white-hot Islanders-Red Wings rivalry we thought had died when Mike Babcock left for Toronto.