Teemu Pulkkinen - A Bright Spot for the Detroit Red Wings

Teemu Pulkkinen on Elite Prospects

Name: Teemu Pulkkinen Alias: "Pulky"
Position: Wing Birthdate: 1/2/1992
Shoots: R Age: 22 Years
Height: 5'11" Birthplace: Vantaa, Finland
Weight: 185 lbs. Drafted: 111th overall in 2010
Contract Signed: May 29th, 2012
Contract: On the 2nd year of 3 year Entry Level Deal
Status: RFA at the end of the 2014-2015 season
Current Salary: AHL $65,000 NHL $690,000 Cap Hit $698,333

Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2008-09 Jokerit Helsinki SM-liiga 3 0 0 0 6 0
2009-10 Jokerit Helsinki SM-liiga 12 1 2 3 6 -10
2010-11 Jokerit Helsinki SM-liiga 55 18 36 54 32 23
2011-12 Jokerit Helsinki SM-liiga 56 16 21 37 41 0
2012-13 Jokerit Helsinki SM-liiga 59 14 20 34 49 5
2012-13 GR Griffins AHL 2 0 1 1 2 -1
2013-14 GR Griffins AHL 60 26 25 51 30 20

Before I start talking just watch this video:

Wow. Did you watch that? If you did, watch it again. Yeah, it actually happened.

Grand Rapids rookie scoring sensation Teemu Pulkkinen leads the Griffins in scoring with 51 points and 26 goals. He is currently tied at number five in the AHL for most goals scored. I've had the pleasure of watching Teemu play a few times this year and needless to say, he's something else. He's come a long way since making his AHL debut with Grand Rapids last year, as well as made strides to getting better since prospect camp. He was never the strongest skater, and it's pretty obvious that he still needs work with that. Teemu's game relies on puck possession. He loves having the puck, and he loves to shoot it. He leads the Griffins in shots with 175 so far. He is shooting 14.9%, which isn't bad at all. It's pretty obvious this kid is a natural sniper. He has an absolute howitzer of a shot.. I've read that it reaches upwards of 102 mph. His shot could be more accurate, but when you're ripping them at velocities like he is, you tend to lose accuracy. He strikes me as the ideal player to have on the point for your power play, because he shoots more than he passes.

Even though he is having an incredible rookie season in the AHL, his stats in the juniors stand out the most to me.

As with any Detroit prospect, his scouting notes insist that he round out his defensive abilities. That's all swell and fun, but this kid is a natural scorer. I'd really like that to remain the highlight of his repertoire going into the NHL. It's hard to say where he fits into the logjam of wingers that Detroit possesses, but if it's like the situation we have seen with Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan, he will take someone's job. I expect him to be the top call-up guy next season, if he can't crack the lineup coming out of training camp.
As a 111th overall pick in 2010, you can consider Pulky to be a steal for this organization. If he pans out like his development has shown he could, you have a wicked right-hand shot that would replace what Daniel Alfredsson has provided.

I went and saw Grand Rapids play a couple of weeks back, and Teemu definitely stood out among others. Seemed like every time they put him at the point during the power-play, they were buzzing and scoring. There was one instance where he ripped a shot off the face-off and it hit the pipe, but Grand Rapids scored shortly after. Point is, he creates chances with his shots whether they go in the net or not. He has definitely earned a spot for my most favorite player in Grand Rapids. But what do coaches and scouts have to say?

"He’s a pure goal-scorer, with a Brett Hull type of shot; loves to shoot the puck, has a great release. Europeans aren’t known as shooters, but he has a Brett Hull type of mentality. Finds open spots, lets it rip." — Former Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill (MLive.com, May 2012).

"He loves to shoot the puck and he can really shoot it. He’s always in the right position. He’s a dangerous player from the tops of the circles down. His skating is not one of his best assets, but the one thing he has is the ability to score goals." — Red Wings scout Mark Leach (January 2012)
Spotlight gets brighter on Griffins' scoring leader Teemu Pulkkinen | MLive.com

Pulkkinen becoming a ‘commodity in a hurry’ | Red Wings Central

Bold Prediction:

Detroit is a team hungry for offense. After a disappointing 2013-2014 season, where youth showed the organization that the future is now, Teemu Pulkkinen will compete for a roster spot on this team come training camp. If he trains hard over the offseason I have every reason to believe he will graduate either before or early on in the 2014-2015 regular season.
Finn. (haha get it.)