AHL goal-scoring leader Teemu Pulkkinen debuting with Red Wings

Edmonton Oilers v Detroit Red WingsDetroit Red Wings prospect Teemu Pulkkinen currently leads the American Hockey League with 20 goals, and is second it the league with 39 points overall in 33 games. Now the Wings want to see if Pulkkinen can transfer that success to the NHL.

Pulkkinen was recalled from the team’s AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, to help bolster offensive depth. Forward Johan Franzen was placed on the seven-day injured reserve list, and Tomas Jurco will likely be out until after the NHL All-Star Game with a sore back.

“We felt he deserves to come up here,” said Red Wings general manager Ken Holland. “(Head coach) Mike Babcock and I had been talking the last little while that if we had an opportunity along the way to see what he could do we would. He certainly deserves to be rewarded with an opportunity.”

Pulkkinen will make his debut against the Washington Capitals tonight. He skated in three games for the Red Wings last season, registering zero points. Regardless, the Wings like what they’ve seen from the 23-year-old.

“After we drafted him, he broke Teemu Selanne’s record for assists in the Finish Elite League,” Holland said. “The next year, he came back and didn’t have a great year. Then he came to North America and had a good season with the Griffins.

“We’ll see what he can do.”

The Wings drafted Pulkkinen 111th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He’s expected to skate on a line with Drew Miller and Riley Sheahan during tonight’s game.

The Red Wings are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference with 53 points—five points behind the conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning.

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