It was announced today that both Teemu Pulkkinen and Andy Miele have been named to the AHL First All-Star Team. This is the first time since 2002 that two Grand Rapids Griffins players have been a part of the First All-Star team when John Gruden and Martin Puruek were named to the First team.
Since being signed as an unrestricted free agent, Andy Miele has provided the Griffins with a serious offensive boost, helping them clinch a playoff spot. Both Pulkkinen and Miele sit in the top-five for scoring in the AHL, even though Teemu has spent the last couple of months in the NHL. Yeah, he's that damn good.
Andy Miele, Center (Grand Rapids Griffins):
Michigan native Andy Miele earns his second career postseason All-Star nod – he was a Second Team selection in 2013-14 – during his first season in the Detroit Red Wings organization. Miele is second in the league in scoring with 67 points (24 goals, 43 assists), helping Grand Rapids secure a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs. The fourth-year pro and 2011 Hobey Baker Award winner also owns a career-best plus-12 rating and has 22 multiple-point efforts, highlighted by a five-point night vs. Toronto on Dec. 19.
Teemu Pulkkinen, Right Wing (Grand Rapids Griffins):
Despite spending much of the second half of the season in the National Hockey League, Teemu Pulkkinen continues to lead the AHL with 34 goals and ranks fourth in the league with 61 points in 46 games for Grand Rapids this season, surpassing his offensive output from a year ago when he won AHL All-Rookie honors. Pulkkinen had an eight-game goal streak from Dec. 19 to Jan. 7, beginning a stretch that has seen him score 23 times in his last 21 AHL contests. Pulkkinen has added five goals and three assists in 29 NHL games for Detroit, which selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
More from the Red Wings:
Miele, 26, ranks second in the AHL in scoring with 67 points (24-43—67) in 66 games, ties for first in shootout goals (3) and ranks fifth in assists (43). A native of Detroit, Mich., he also leads the Griffins in points, assists, power play points (24) and power play assists (16). Miele has recorded 22 multi-point performances this season, most notably registering a goal and four assists on Dec. 19 versus Toronto.
Last season, as a member of the Portland Pirates, Miele was named to the AHL’s Second All-Star Team after accumulating 72 points (27-45—72) in 70 games. He and Oklahoma City defenseman Brad Hunt are the only repeat honorees from last season’s all-star teams.
Detroit’s fourth choice (111th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Pulkkinen still leads the AHL in goals with 34 and ranks fourth overall in scoring with 61 points (34-27—61) in 46 games, despite having been on recall to the Red Wings since March 7. The Vantaa, Finland, native has notched five goals, three assists, 10 PIM and a plus-five rating in 26 games with Detroit.
The 23-year-old has strung together a multitude of accomplishments this season, including taking part in the AHL All-Star Classic, tying the Griffins’ franchise record of eight consecutive games with a goal, and earning his first NHL goal on Jan. 20 versus Minnesota. On March 4 versus Oklahoma City, Pulkkinen notched his second hat trick of the season; his first career hat trick came on Jan. 29 at Iowa, when he became the second Griffin ever to record a hat trick via three power play goals.
Earlier this season, Pulkkinen became the first player in Griffins franchise history to record back-to-back 30 goal seasons (31 in 2013-14), and he is only the second Griffin to have ever logged multiple 30-goal seasons. A member of the AHL’s All-Rookie Team last season, Pulkkinen has followed in the footsteps of current Red Wing Gustav Nyquist, who was named to the all-rookie squad in 2011-12 and then the First All-Star Team in 2012-13.