Detroit Red Wings Prospects to Watch: Teemu Pulkkinen


Teemu Pulkkinen is probably the most well-known Detroit Red Wings prospect due in part to his play the last two seasons. The 23 year-old Pulkkinen only played in 46 games in the 2014-15 season. However, in those 46 games he netted a whopping 60 points for the Griffins. He was called up by the Red Wings in January and stayed on the team for 31 games before returning to Grand Rapids.

In his first full season with the Griffins, Pulkkinen played in 71 games and scored 59 points. He scored 31 goals and helped his teammates out with 28 assists. He continued his grind in the play-offs scoring 5 goals along with 6 assists in 10 games. The Griffins were knocked out of the play-offs in the second round and so his season came to an end.

When the 14-15 season started, Pulkkinen picked right back up where he left off. Before his call up, the winger was leading the AHL in points by such a large margin it took his call up to allow others to catch up with him. They did, but he still finished 10th in the AHL scoring with 61 points but,  first in goals scored with 34.

Just like the season prior the young Finn kept the scoring up. Right now through 12 games he has 18 points on 14 goals and 4 assists, which is second best in the AHL play-offs so far.

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The Red Wings got Pulkkinen in typical Detroit Red Wings fashion; the NHL draft. He was a 4th round pick by the Red Wings in the 2010 draft. Before being drafted he played for Jokerit who now play in the KHL, but, at the time played in Finnish Elite League. He spent time on their junior teams until he went to play for the big squad in the 2010 season.

Along with his time playing with Jokerit, he also spent time on the Finnish World Junior teams when he was 17, 18, 19, and 20. While playing at the U20 World Junior Championships he was the leading scorer for the Finland team with 6 goals and 4 assist. In the 2012-13 season Pulkkinen signed with the Red Wings and was assigned to the Griffins.

Watching Pulkkinen play is something great. He handles the puck well, has some very soft hand and is a great shot. He knows how to make plays happens and seems to always be where he needs to be to score a goal.

However, now the Red Wings have some shifting and moves to decide if they want Pulkkinen in their line up next season. At the end of the AHL season he becomes a restricted free agent and the team must do something with him. I say sign him, bring him up and find a place for him. He is far too good to let go, trade, or keep down in the AHL for another season.

I think giving Pulkkinen a chance to play regularly will do nothing but help this team in the new season. If he is brought full-time to the Red Wings, he will more than likely be coached by Jeff Blashill, who he has done nothing but been successful under. He can show off his skill and continue to grow as a player and fix some of his at time lack-luster skating skill and defensive skill.

What do you think? Should the Red Wings bring Pulkkinen up? Sign him and keep him in the AHL one more season? Or as the Hockey Writers link suggested, should they maybe use him as trade bait for a player they may want? Let us know below and don’t forget to stay connected to Detroit Jock City for all your Detroit Red Wings news.

Next: Check out what Alexey Marchenko can bring to the Red Wings in the near future

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