The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/29/12 at 05:45 PM ET
Updated 4x at 6:46 PM: According to the Red Wings’ Twitter account, the team has signed the first of three prospects they plan on signing this week to an entry-level contract:
The Red Wings have signed Teemu Pulkkinen to a three-year entry level contract. He was a 4th round pick (111th overall) in the 2010 Draft.
The Wings will also sign Tomas Jurco and Calle Jarnkrok to entry-level deals in short order.
The Free Press’s Helene St. James is confirming the signing, and we’ll hear more about Pulkkinen’s deal soon.
Update: Here’s DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose confirming the signing:
The Red Wings have signed Teemu Pulkkinen, an offensive, playmaking forward, to a three-year entry-level contract on Tuesday.
A fourth-round draft pick in 2010, Pulkkinen belongs to the Wings draft class that includes defenseman Riley Sheahan and center Louis-Marc Aubry, who played in Grand Rapids last season.
Pulkkinen who turned 20 in January, is a solid offensive and creative winger with good hands and is a natural goal scorer. He spent parts of four seasons, including the past two full campaigns, with the Helsinki Jokers in the SM-liiga, which is considered the top league in Finland. There, Pulkkinen, a 5-foot-10, 198-pound right wing, collected 35 goals and 59 assists in 126 games.
Last season, Pulkkinen was second in team scoring for the Jokers, netting 16 goals and 21 assists in 56 games. He also represented Finland at several international tournaments, finishing in the top 10 in scoring at both the 2011 and 2012 World Junior Championships. And at the 2010 World U-18 Championships in Belarus, Pulkkinen led the tourney in scoring with 15 points in six games as the Finns repeated as bronze medalists.
He is only the second Finnish-born player drafted by the Wings since Valtteri Filppula was selected in the third-round of the 2002 draft. Detroit drafted defenseman Juho Mielonen, who continues to play in Finland.
Pulkkinen will join the Griffins in the American Hockey League next season.
That last part is news to me. As far as I knew it, the Wings planed on leaving Pulkkinen in Finland…And Jokerit translates to “Jokers” in English.
Update #2: Also of brief Wings-related note this afternoon: According to the Grand Rapids Griffins (via RedWingsFeed), Jason Williams has finally crossed the pond, and will play for Ambri-Piotta in Switzerland next season, and I think it’s kind of cute that Sports Illustrated’s named Larry Murphy an “Iconic King,” posting a picture of Murph as a youngster playing for LA. No hot dogs are present in the photo.
Update #3: Okey dokey, here’s MLIve’s Ansar Khan’s confirmation:
The Detroit Red Wings have signed right wing Teemu Pulkkinen to a three-year entry-level contract.
Pulkkinen, Detroit’s fourth-round pick in 2010 (111th overall), has spent the past two seasons with Jokerit Helsinki of the Finnish Elite League, totaling 94 points (35 goals, 59 assists) in 126 games.
Pulkkinen (5-foot-10, 194) will join the Red Wings at training camp but is likely to spend one more season in Europe. He is not eligible to play for the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2012-13 because of his draft year.
The Red Wings anticipate signing two other picks, forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Tomas Jurco, by Friday’s deadline.
More details shortly.
Update #3.5: The Detroit News also confirms:
Forward Teemu Pulkkinen, 20, signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Red Wings, the team announced Tuesday.
Pulkkinen, 5 foot 10 and 194 pounds, was drafted by the Wings in the fourth round, 111th overall. He had 35 goals and 59 assists the past two seasons with Jokerit Helsinki of the Finnish Elite League, and finished in the top 10 in scoring for the Finland national team at the 2011 and 2012 IIHF World Junior Championships.
The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan fired off a pair of Twitter updates...
Have been working on SC preview story (I’m picking NJ, incidentally) but Wings have signed Teemu Pulkkinen to entry-level contract
Pulkkinen is a sniper, a goal scorer, who should be joining Wings in ‘12-13..Calle Jarnkrok and Tomas Jurco 2 other prospects to be signed
The Free Press’s Helene St. James did the same...
“@ClintonChanges: @freepwings sounds like a good hockey name!”/I know, let’s hope he’s also got Selanne’s affability
“@manitobafarmboy: @freepwings good read. This will be a very interesting off season for Wings…Change is needed but will it happen?”/Yes
And Ansar Khan updated his story on MLive with some quips from Wings assistant GM Jim Nill:
“He’s a shooter, kind of unique for a European because Europeans are always known for over-passing,’’ Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said. “You don’t like to make comparisons, but his game is a lot like Brett Hull’s. He’s got a quick release, he’s pure goal-scorer.’‘
Like most 20-year-olds, Pulkkinen needs to gain more strength and play more of a two-way game, but Nill said, “That stuff can be taught.’‘
Pulkkinen had 16 goals and 37 points in 2011-12, his second season with Jokerit Helsinki of SM Liiga in Finland. He has 25 goals and 59 assists in 126 games overall.
The Red Wings were fortunate to have Pulkkinen slide down to them in the fourth round. Many analysts expected him to taken much higher heading into his draft year.
“He had a tough year, a lot of injuries, didn’t have a good year because of that,’’ Nill said. “He bounced back the following year. We’re excited about him,’‘
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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.