Defenseman Danny DeKeyser will make his debut with the Detroit Red Wings tonight.

Minutes after the Wings' 4-2 loss Thursday to the Coyotes at Arena, coach Mike Babcock said DeKeyser will play against the Avalanche. It's not uncommon to get untested players into a road game first, since there's less pressure than playing at home, and at least DeKeyser has his family with him on this trip.

"I've been feeling good the last few days," DeKeyser said. "I think I'm ready to go."

DeKeyser only has practiced with the Wings for less than a week, joining them Saturday, a week after his career at Western Michigan ended.

"We sure like what we see," Babcock said. "We just have to have enough courage to fire him in and get on with it."

DeKeyser, 22, was vigorously pursued by numerous NHL teams when he became an unrestricted free agent at the end of March. He chose his hometown team, much to the delight of the Wings, who got to add someone they see as a potential building block. DeKeyser has much to prove -- and expectations should be tempered for his debut by the fact he's never played a minute of pro hockey -- but he's a 6-foot-3 defenseman who can skate, and that's a valuable asset even if there's much growth ahead.

Babcock also said Ian White and Kyle Quincey will be in the lineup. Babcock didn't say who they would bump, but Carlo Colaiacovo didn't have a great game Thursday, finishing minus-3. Brendan Smith and Brian Lashoff also struggled.