NASTASIUK AND ESPOSITO BACK IN GRAND RAPIDS
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Thursday reassigned forward Zach Nastasiukto the Grand Rapids Griffins from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye while the Griffins recalled rookie forward Luke Esposito from Toledo.
Nastasiuk, 22, has tallied 17 points (8-9—17) and a plus-six rating in 30 games with the Walleye this season and two points (1-1—2) in eight appearances with the Griffins. He shows four points (2-2—4) in his last five ECHL outings.
A second-round draft selection, 48th overall, by Detroit in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Nastasiuk has skated in 53 career games with Grand Rapids after joining the club at the end of the 2013-14 campaign, posting 11 points (4-7—11) and four penalty minutes. He’s also added an assist in 11 Calder Cup Playoff tilts.
The 6-foot-2, 202-pound winger has appeared in 102 career ECHL contests since 2015, all with the Walleye, totaling 71 points (31-40—71) and a plus-25 rating.
Nastasiuk played with the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack prior to turning pro. From 2011-15, he amassed 187 points (89-98—187) in 256 games, including a career-high 35 goals in 2014-15 to cap off three straight seasons with 20 or more goals. A native of Barrie, Ontario, Nastasiuk helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2013 18U World Junior Championship.
Esposito, 24, has split his rookie campaign between Toledo and Grand Rapids, showing five points (2-3—5) in 14 games with the Walleye and two points (0-2—2) in 17 appearances with the Griffins.
Prior to turning pro, the 5-foot-10, 183-pound forward played at Harvard (ECAC) from 2013-17 and totaled 89 points (31-58—89) in 131 games. He posted career highs in goals (16), assists (20) and points (36) as a senior in 2016-17 and helped the Crimson advance to the Frozen Four for the first time since 1994.
Esposito was selected as the BCHL Rookie of the Year in 2012-13 after pacing the league in assists and tying for third in points (17-54—71) in 55 games with the Chilliwack Chiefs.
The Griffins, who rank fourth in the Central Division, host the fifth-place Rockford IceHogs on Friday and the third-place Iowa Wild on Saturday. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
Single-game tickets are currently on sale. Fans can secure their full-season, select-season or groupticket packages by calling (616) 774-4585 ext. 2 or visit griffinshockey.com for more information.