DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled center Dominic Turgeon from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins and assigned left wing David Booth to the Griffins.
Turgeon, 21, has appeared in four games with the Red Wings this season following his NHL debut on Jan. 14 at Chicago, averaging 9:36 time on ice and recording two shots on goal. He has also skated in 40 games for the Griffins in 2017-18 and has already surpassed his rookie-season totals in goals (9), assists (14) and points (23), after logging 18 points (6-12-18) in 71 games during the 2016-17 campaign. A native of Pointe-Clare, Quebec, the second-year pro ranks sixth on the Griffins in points and also sits among team leaders with nine goals (5th), 14 assists (T7th), a plus-eight rating (3rd) and 74 shots on goal (8th). Turgeon was also a member of the Griffins’ 2017 Calder Cup championship team, skating in all 19 of the team’s postseason games and registering two points (1-1-2).
Originally drafted by the Red Wings in the third round (63rd overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Turgeon spent four seasons in the Western Hockey League with the Portland Winterhawks prior to his professional career, tallying 152 points (67-85-152) and 91 penalty minutes in 259 games from 2011-16. The 6-foot-2, 203-pound forward captained the Winterhawks in 2015-16 and registered a junior career-high 70 points (36-34-70) in 72 games. He was also a WHL champion with Portland in 2012-13 and picked up 18 points (10-8-18) in 45 career WHL games. Turgeon’s father, Pierre, scored over 500 NHL goals for Buffalo, the NY Islanders, Montreal, St. Louis, Dallas and Colorado from 1987-07 and his uncle, Sylvain, skated in 669 NHL games for Hartford, New Jersey, Montreal and Ottawa from 1983-95.
Booth, 33, returned to the NHL this season after spending the last two seasons in Russia playing for Admiral Vladivostok and Avangard Omsk in the Kontinental Hockey League. He has picked up five points (4-1-5), six penalty minutes and 27 shots on goal in 19 games with the Red Wings, earning a contract with the team after attending Detroit’s training camp on a professional tryout. In 521 NHL games with Florida, Vancouver, Toronto and Detroit since 2006-07, he has logged 236 points (124-112-236) and 212 penalty minutes. Booth also picked up 25 points (10-15-25) and 46 penalty minutes in 42 KHL games from 2015-17.
The 11th-year pro has played parts of three seasons in the AHL, totaling 16 points (8-8-16) and 28 penalty minutes in 30 games with the Rochester Americans (2006-07), Utica Comets (2013-14) and Toronto Marlies (2014-15). Originally drafted by Florida in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Booth spent four seasons with the Michigan State Spartans prior to turning pro, totaling 105 points (45-60-105) in 134 games from 2002-06. He also spent two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program in 2001-02. The Washington, Mich., native has also represented the United States at several international tournaments, winning two gold medals at the 2002 IIHF World Under-18 Championship and the 2004 IIHF World Junior Championship, and representing the men’s national team at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.
Interesting move all things considered with Turgeon being assigned alongside Joe Hicketts as part of the roster moves to get Detroit cap compliant for the triumphant (and successful) return of Luke Glendening to the Red Wings’ lineup. It’s not entirely baffling, as Booth had scored a goal the night before in New Jersey while pending his waiver future and it’s kind of hard to send a guy to the minors the night after he scores.
The question here is why Turgeon specifically was recalled. Glendening’s return fills out the four center spots on the lineup, unless Jeff Blashill wants to move him to Frans Nielsen’s wing to play more shutdown. The return also brought back a PKer, which was the other reason Turgeon was recalled in the absence of Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, and Luke Glendening.
In all truth, I’d still rather have Turgeon on the roster than Booth (and would like to reiterate I’d take both over Luke Witkowski), but in terms of the way the Wings have constructed their roster and how Turgeon has looked in his four games, it’s mildly curious that a team needing to develop more goalscoring once again recalled a defensive-3rd-center-ceiling type prospect.
Also, I’d like to wish David Booth all the best in what I’m assuming is going to be a helpful teaching veteran presence in Grand Rapids similar to what Danny Cleary provided for the Griffins’ youngsters prior to his retirement. The guy has had nothing but a good attitude since joining the Wings and he’s pretty easy to root for.