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Red Wings recall defenseman Joe Hicketts

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Jumbo Joe is headed for the tall buildings.

Detroit Red Wings v New Jersey Devils Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Defenseman Joe Hicketts has been recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings confirmed Monday.

The pint-sized rearguard has dealt with a great amount of adversity this season - just a year after he turned heads in his rookie season in Grand Rapids. Hicketts has 10 points in 63 games.

Despite his lack of production, Hicketts is likely at the top of the Red Wings prospects in terms of defensemen. The former WJC gold medalist had an extremely impressive instance in preseason in 2017.

The details aren’t clear right now - whether he’s stepping into a larger role, or if he’s just a warm body to fill a spot on the blue line’s vacancy left by Mike Green.

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Hicketts, 21, made his NHL debut with the Red Wings on Jan. 22 at New Jersey and was a plus-one with one hit and three blocked shots in 15:13 time on ice. The second-year pro has also appeared in 63 games for the Griffins this season, registering 10 points (3-7-10) and 32 penalty minutes. In his rookie season with Grand Rapids, the Kamloops, British Columbia, native led the team’s defensemen with 34 points (7-27-34) in 73 games, which ranked seventh among first-year AHL defensemen. Hicketts also led Griffins blueliners in postseason scoring after picking up eight points (1-7-8) in 19 games en route to helping the team capture its second AHL championship in five seasons. In 136 career AHL games, he has tallied 44 points (10-34-44), 72 penalty minutes and a plus-two rating.

Originally signed by the Red Wings as an undrafted free agent in September 2014, the 5-foot-8, 180-pound defenseman spent four seasons with the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals from 2012-16, serving the last two years as the team’s captain and posting back-to-back 60-point seasons. Hicketts totaled 173 points (32-141-173), 149 penalty minutes and a plus-69 rating in 224 games with the Royals and was a WHL West Second-Team All-Star in 2015 and First-Team All-Star in 2016. Internationally, Hicketts represented Canada twice at the IIHF World Junior Championship, winning gold in 2015 and serving as an alternate captain for the team in 2016 while totaling six points (1-5-6) in 12 games over the two tournaments. He also earned medals at three other tournaments for his country, winning gold at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, picking up a silver at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and earning bronze at the 2014 World Under-18 Championship.