Red Wings reassign Vili Saarijarvi to Grand Rapids Griffins
DETROIT, MICH -- The Griffins have announced that 2015 3rd-rounder Vili Saarijarvi has been reassigned to the Red Wings' AHL club.
After an impressive outing with the OHL's Flint Firebirds, finishing top-two for scoring on his team behind 2016 draft-eligible Will Bitten, and second among defensemen for assists in the OHL. Saarijarvi will join the Griffins before they play Lake Erie tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
As for Saarijarvi's future, it remains to be seen. The Firebirds have been an absolute circus this year, and it's doubtful he will return. The options seem to be between the USHL, AHL, or back to Finland.
More from the Grand Rapids Griffins press release:
The Detroit Red Wings have reassigned defenseman Vili Saarijarvi (VIH-lee SAH-ree-YAHR-vee) to the Grand Rapids Griffins from the OHL’s Flint Firebirds.
Detroit’s second choice (73rd overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Saarijarvi played in 59 games this season for the Firebirds. The 5-foot-10, 163-pound blueliner ranked third on the team in points (12-31—43), fifth in goals (12) and second in assists (31). Among OHL defensemen, Saarijarvi tied for ninth in points, tied for 16th in assists, tied for seventh in goals, tied for the lead with eight power play goals and ranked second in shots (219). Saarijarvi was named the OHL’s defenseman of the month for October after picking up 11 points (2-9—11) and a plus-nine rating in 11 games.
Competing for Finland during the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, Saarijarvi tallied four assists (0-4—4), two penalty minutes and 11 shots on goal in seven games while helping the Finns win the gold medal. He also earned a silver medal for Finland during the 2015 18U World Junior Championship.
Saarijarvi, 18, accumulated 23 points (6-17—23) while appearing in 57 games for Green Bay (USHL) during the 2014-15 campaign.
A native of Rovaniemi, Finland, Saarijarvi played four seasons in Finnish junior leagues before competing in the USHL. While playing in 135 games between the Fin-U16, Fin-U18 and Fin-Jr. leagues, Saarijarvi totaled 106 points (28-78—106) and 95 PIM.
Following a five-game road trip, the Griffins will return to Van Andel Arena on Saturday to face the Lake Erie Monsters at 7 p.m.