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Teemu Pulkkinen Wins AHL Goal-Scoring Race Despite Early NHL Call-Up

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Teemu Pulkkinen had another record setting season with the Grand Rapids Griffins. The best Teemu in hockey led the AHL in points and goals for most of the season, scoring at a pace that was simply ridiculous. Because of his call ups to the Detroit Red Wings, "Teeny Pokemon" only played 46 games with the Griffins this season, but despite his limited games he still finished the season as the AHL goal leader. Paul Thompson finished 2nd in goals with 33, however it took him 73 games to do what Pulkkinen did in 46.

That alone is a pretty incredible accomplishment, and is a testament to just how crazy a scoring pace Pulkkinen maintained while in the AHL. In addition to leading the league in goals, he also finished 10th in AHL points, 1st on the Griffins in goals, and 2nd on the Griffins in points. Let that soak in for a minute, considering Pulkkinen was in Detroit for 30 of the Griffins games.

Pulkkinen only failed to register a point in 10 games, had 17 multi-point games, 4 three point games and 2 four point games. But wait, there's more! Pulkkinen also set the following Griffins franchise records this season.

  • Tied the Griffins franchise record for 8 consecutive games with at least one goal. His streak went from December 19th through January 7th. He was then called up to Detroit, missed 5 Griffins games, and didn't register a point in his first game back.

  • On Saturday February 14th he scored his 30th goal of the season and became the 1st Griffin to ever have back to back 30 goals seasons.

  • He is just the third Griffin (and first during the team's AHL tenure) to finish in the top 20 in league scoring in multiple seasons, and the second (and first during the team's AHL tenure) to finish in the top 20 in consecutive seasons. Michel Picard did it in 1996-97 (IHL), 1999-00 (IHL) and 2002-03, and Slava Butsayev did it in 1999-00 (IHL) and 2000-01 (IHL).

Teemu Pulkkinen has an incredible AHL season, even though he spent 40% of his AHL season in the NHL. I'm very proud of him for what he's already accomplished and look forward to what he'll do in the NHL. Congratulations on your season so far, Teemu and good luck in Detroit in the playoffs!