Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

A goalie swap and a remarkable moment in Red Wings draft history

The Grand rapids Griffins sent out a press release last night stating that the Wings were swapping their third goaltenders, but the press release also marked an absolutely stunning achievement in terms of the Wings' player development model:


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday assigned goaltender Tom McCollum to the Grand Rapids Griffins and recalled goaltender Jordan Pearce from the Griffins. Additionally, Grand Rapids signed defenseman Nick Jensen to an amateur tryout.

McCollum, 22, ranks among the Griffins’ all-time goaltending leaders with 113 games played (3rd), 6320:02 minutes (3rd), 45 wins (T5th), 2,728 (3rd), three shutouts (T9th) and five shootout wins (7th). The fourth-year pro appeared in 31 regular season games with the Griffins this season, setting career bests with 18 wins, a 2.63 goals against average, a 0.904 save percentage and two shutouts.

Pearce, 26, also ranks among the franchise’s top netminders with 73 games played (8th), 3807:06 minutes (9th), 1,738 saves (8th) and four shootout wins (T8th). The Anchorage, Alaska, native owns a 24-29-6 record, a 3.23 goals against average and two shutouts in five seasons with Grand Rapids. Pearce sported a 15-13-1 record, a 2.76 GAA and two shutouts in 31 regular season games with Toledo this season, along with a 2-1 record and a 1.95 GAA in four playoff appearances.

As for Jensen...

A native of Rogers, Minn., Jensen skated in 42 games with the WCHA’s St. Cloud State Huskies in 2012-13, leading the team’s defensemen with 31 points (4-27—31) and helping the program to its second-ever regular season conference championship and NCAA Frozen Four appearance. In 118 collegiate contests since 2010, the 6-foot-1, 193-pound defenseman notched 86 points (15-71—86) and 36 penalty minutes.

A fifth-round pick (150th overall) of Detroit, Jensen is the seventh and final member of the Red Wings’ 2009 draft class to join the Griffins, marking the first time that every member of a Detroit draft class has come through Grand Rapids. All seven are currently on the Griffins’ roster, including Landon Ferraro, Tomas Tatar, Andrej Nestrasil, Gleason Fournier, Mitch Callahan and Adam Almquist.

Jensen signed with the Wings earlier this month surrendred his NCAA eligibility the moment he signed the amateur try-out with the Griffins, so he's not heading back to Saint Cloud State University.

Given that the Wings hope to find one or maybe two NHL players out of every draft class, and given that the team may sign 3-4 picks, the fact that they're going toink all seven to entry-level deals, and given that every one save perhaps Fournier (his future with the organization's a bit tenuous at this point) will be playing for the Griffins or the ECHL's Toledo Walleye during the 2013-2014 season is truly remarkable.

The Griffins and Toronto Marlies are tied at one game apiece in their best-of-seven Western Conference Quarterfinal series, which will turn to Grand Rapids for the next three games. The Griffins will host Game 3 [Wednesday], Game 4 on Friday and Game 5 on Saturday at Van Andel Arena. Tickets are available at http://griffinshockey.com



Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



Jensen surrendred his NCAA eligibility the moment he signed the amateur try-out with the Griffins, so the Wings will likely sign him to an entry-level deal at some point.

I’m confused…


Is this wrong?  Or did they sign him to the tryout contract in order for him to be able to practice/play for the Griffins for the balance of their playoff run, since his deal with the Red Wings starts next season?

Posted by Garth on 05/15/13 at 10:32 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Whoops, Paul beat me to it…Sorry, brain not working this morning!

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/15/13 at 10:42 AM ET


No worries.

Either way, that’s a pretty friggin’ impressive draft class.

Posted by Garth on 05/15/13 at 10:47 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.