The offseason is already dead, and we haven't even hit August yet. So here come the Detroit Red Wings, giving us the oasis we call "news," as the team has re-signed Teemu Pulkkinen to a one-year contract.
Detroit already has a logjam at all skater positions, a bind which already factored in Pulkkinen being re-signed by the club. The guy who's too good for the AHL now has one year to prove under new head coach Jeff Blashill that he can hack it in the NHL and translate his prolific scoring prowess from the minors to the big league.
In terms of the filling out the rest of the roster, the Red Wings now have just Tomas Jurco to re-sign, and he will likely get a similar deal. Financial terms of Pulkkinen's deal have yet to be disclosed, though it's hard to imagine any dollar amount drifting too far from the $1 million target.
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today agreed to terms with right wing Teemu Pulkkinen on a one-year contract. In accordance with club policy, additional details will not be disclosed.
Pulkkinen split his second full season in North America between the Red Wings and the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. The 23-year-old forward tallied eight points (5-3-8) in 31 games with Detroit, notching his first NHL goal on Jan. 20 versus Minnesota. Despite appearing in only 46 games with the Griffins, Pulkkinen won the AHL’s Willie Marshall Award as the league’s top goal-scorer and was named an AHL First-Team All-Star with 61 points (34-27-61). He ranked second on the Griffins in scoring and tied for 10th overall in the league. The 5-foot-10, 185-lb., winger also led the AHL in goals during the 2015 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs, while helping the Griffins reach the Western Conference Finals for the second time in three seasons with 18 points (14-4-18) in 16 games.
A native of Vantaa, Finland, Pulkkinen has totaled 121 points (65-56-121) in 119 regular-season games and 34 points (22-12-34) in 40 postseason games with the Griffins since coming over from Finland’s SM-Liiga at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season. He played parts of five seasons in the SM-Liiga from 2008-13 prior to coming to North America, notching 128 points (49-79-128) in 185 games with Helsinki Jokerit. Pulkkinen was the league’s rookie of the year after registering 54 points (18-36-54) with Jokerit in 2010-11. Originally drafted by Detroit in the fourth round (111th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, he has also represented his country internationally on several occasions, picking up 19 points (9-10-19) in 13 games during the 2011 and 2012 IIHF World Junior Championships and adding 28 points (17-11-28) in 12 games at the 2009 and 2010 Under-18 World Championships, earning back-to-back bronze medals.