DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled left wing Tyler Bertuzzi from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Bertuzzi, 22, missed the beginning of the season due to injury but has returned to post nine points (5-4-9) and 22 penalty minutes in 12 games with the Griffins. The third-year pro was awarded the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy in 2017 as the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs’ most-valuable player after producing 19 points (9-10-19) in 19 postseason games en route to helping Grand Rapids capture its second championship in five seasons. Bertuzzi also finished ninth on the team in points during the regular season despite being limited to 48 games with 37 points (12-25-37). The Sudbury, Ontario, native also made his NHL debut during the 2016-17 campaign, making his NHL debut on Nov. 8 at Philadelphia and totaling seven games with the Red Wings.
Originally drafted by the Red Wings in the second round (58th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Bertuzzi has played parts of four seasons for the Griffins and has registered 77 points (30-47-77) and 192 penalty minutes in 133 regular-season games in addition to 39 points (23-16-39) and 68 penalty minutes in 42 postseason games. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League prior to his professional career, notching 172 points (72-100-172) and 325 penalty minutes in 201 games for the Guelph Storm from 2011-15. He was an OHL champion in 2014 following 17 points (10-7-17) in 18 postseason games and was named to the 2015 OHL Second All-Star Team after picking up 98 points (43-55-98) in 68 games during his final major-junior season.
I mentioned on this week’s WIIM Radio that Bertuzzi makes sense for the next callup considering that Evgeny Svechnikov is still working through the after-effects of what the team called a neck injury after he took a knee to the side of the head in preseason and that Bertuzzi fits more into the mold of what the team just got rid of in Scott Wilson, the grinder-type who adds energy and should be able to score. The difference is that Bertuzzi, a bonus pick in the draft in which the Wings traded down and still got Anthony Mantha, should have a higher ceiling.
The Bertuzzi callup replenishes the Red Wings’ roster to 23 men (including the still-suspended Luke Witkowski). I personally don’t think that the Wings called the AHL playoff MVP up to be a warm body on the bench, so I’d be looking for him to make it into the lineup immediately.