Date of birth: January 2, 1992
Weight: 185 lbs.
Teemu Pulkkinen is someone that fans should be excited about for years to come. A lot of fans and media tend to focus on Anthony Mantha, as he is one of the most highly touted prospects that the Red Wings have had for a long time. While the focus is shifted to Mantha, Pulkkinen is quietly dominating the AHL.
This is nothing new for the 23 year old Finnish-born player. He has been dominating every league he has played in all throughout his career. In his first professional season in Finland, he even broke a 20 year old record rookie record in assists held by NHL great, Teemu Selanne.
He made a seamless transition to North American hockey after joining the Griffins late into their Calder Cup winning season in 2012-13, but last year in his first full year in on the Griffins, he finished first on the team with 31 goals and 28 assists in 71 games. He also lead the way in the playoffs with 11 points in 10 games and was the first player to lead the team in both regular and postseason since Jiri Hudler did it in 2005-06.
This season in Grand Rapids, Pulkkinen has taken it up to a whole other level. He is ranked 3rd in AHL scoring with 20 goals and 19 assists in 33 games which has pushed him to the top of the Red Wings depth chart and with injuries to both Franzen and Jurco, Pulkkinen has an excellent chance to show the Red Wings what he can do.
Pulkkinen brings an element to the Detroit Red Wings that they haven’t had in a long time. He is a player that likes to shoot and a player that can shoot hard. He also brings a much needed right-handed shot to a team that only has one other righty in Luke Glendening. His shot is not only hard but it is extremely accurate and is featured in many highlight reels around the AHL. We can only hope we can see that shot unleashed for the Red Wings for years to come. We definitely have a reason to be excited about Teemu Pulkkinen and the element that he can bring to this team if he can seize this opportunity.
– Derek Carnevale
(Photo Credit: Aaron Vincent Elkaim AP)