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The Malik Report

Red Wings prospect Teemu Pulkkinen’s officially been assigned to Grand Rapids

As MLive's Ansar Khan noted this morning, the Red Wings had to return top prospect Calle Jarnkrok to Sweden so that he may prepare to participate in the World Championships, with Jarnkrok's AHL tenure limited to 9 games and 3 assists' worth of production before he was required to fly back to Gavle a full two weeks before the Worlds begin (the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation's very twitchy about icing the best product they can offer during the second year of their co-hosting of the Worlds with Helsinki, Finland, with the medal rounds taking place in Stockholm this time)...

The Grand Rapids Griffins will close their regular season with a three games-in-three-nights stretch against Peoria (at home) on Friday and road games in Cleveland and Chicago on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Having clinched a playoff spot, the Griffins announced that they've received a significant reinforcement this afternoon (via RedWingsFeed), in the form of the team's other top offensive prospect:

The Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday reassigned right wing Teemu Pulkkinen (TEE-moo PUHL-kih-nuhn) from Jokerit (Finland) to the Grand Rapids Griffins. In addition, center Calle Jarnkrok has been reassigned from the Griffins to Brynas (Sweden).

Detroit’s fourth choice (111th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Pulkkinen skated in 59 games with Jokerit of Finland’s top professional league, recording 34 points (14-20—34) and 49 penalty minutes. In 185 career games with Jokerit, the 21-year-old forward has registered 128 points (49-79—128) and 134 penalty minutes. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound native of Vantaa, Finland, was named the league’s rookie of the year in 2010-11 after posting 54 points (18-36—54) in 55 contests.

Jarnkrok, 21, skated in nine games with the Griffins, collecting three assists and a plus-three rating. A second-round pick (51st overall) of Detroit in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Jarnkrok also appeared in 53 games for Brynas this season, leading the team and tying for eighth in the Swedish Elite League with 42 points (13-29—42). The Gavle, Sweden, native will compete for a roster spot on his country’s national team for the 2013 World Championship, which will be held in Stockholm, Sweden, and Helsinki, Finland, from May 3-19.

After clinching a playoff berth on Saturday, the Griffins will wrap up their regular season slate this week with three games in three days. Grand Rapids will host Peoria for its regular season home finale on Friday at 7 p.m. before concluding the season with back-to-back road games against Lake Erie on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Chicago on Sunday at 5 p.m. EDT. Tickets for Friday’s game are available at griffinshockey.com.

Pulkkinen will wear #26 for Grand Rapids, and he's going to play for the Griffins on a full-time basis next season. It's highly likely that Jarnkrok will do the same as well, and while both have a long way to go in terms of catching up with North American fitness levels, they've been playing professional hockey for the past two-plus seasons, and that will help them adjust to the AHL.

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There’s no doubt we have a lot of prospects. I just hope, in the coming years, a highly talented free agent (or two?!) decides they want to try to make a home in Detroit…we can’t only rely on homegrown talent to get us back to the top.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 04/16/13 at 08:56 PM ET

Primis's avatar

DET’s in an odd situation honestly with their young forwards.  A lot of them look to be turning out into legit eventual NHLers, a lot of them.  The question now is how many of them can turn into Top 6, because that’ll be the big need in the next few years.  DET certainly seems to have no lack of forwards that could be 3rd liners.

It’s honestly a problem a lot of teams would like to have, especially considering that many of these guys were 2nd rounders or lower.  A team like EDM was picking forwards for years and not having any of them make the NHL at all.  DET just now needs to make sure a couple of em’ slot into that Top Six and go from there…

Posted by Primis on 04/16/13 at 10:49 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The honest-to-Gord truth is harsh: maybe half of the Wings’ top prospects will pan out. Coming out of the lockout, the Wings’ top prospects read like this:

Jonathan Ericsson, Brett Lebda, Kyle Quincey, Niklas Kronwall, Evan McGrath, Anton Axelsson, Valtteri Filppula, Eric Himelfarb, Mikael Johansson, Johan Franzen, Darryl Bootland, Joey MacDonald and Drew MacIntyre.

Ericsson, Kronwall and Franzen have been relatively successful for Detroit, Filppula’s so-so, Lebda was a bust, who knows what the Wings think about Quincey right now, MacDonald’s starting for Calgary because Miikka Kiprusoff’s banged-up…

And Lebda and MacIntyre are playing in the AHL, Bootland’s an ECHL’er, I believe McGrath’s retired, Himelfarb plays in the Allsvenskan, Anton plays with his brother P.J. in Sweden (no relation to Dick Axelsson) and Johansson was something of a star for a long time.

The Wings hope that maybe three or four of the oodles of forwards and maybe two of the defensemen pan out, and maybe that they’ve got a goalie in Mrazek. Not everyone is going to succeed, so it’s good to stock the cupboard as tightly as possible.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/17/13 at 12:12 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

(Also Helm, drafted in 05 right out of the lockout. He was a pretty hot prospect, but not at the time of the lockout like the others listed)

I’m pretty excited to see GR in Cleveland. The first time they played here this season was some “people of faith” promotion that gave me the creeps, so I skipped it. To each their own, but the only saving I want to be hearing about at a hockey game comes from the goalies.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/17/13 at 10:56 AM ET

SYF's avatar

The first time they played here this season was some “people of faith” promotion that gave me the creeps, so I skipped it. To each their own, but the only saving I want to be hearing about at a hockey game comes from the goalies.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/17/13 at 10:56 AM ET

LOL.  “Fellowship Night” in NSH is THE boringest promo in the league.  No penalties, no crashing into the boards, no fights, no open ice checks (in fact, almost no checking at all), etc.  Oy vey…

Posted by SYF from A tall cool pint of Guinness on 04/17/13 at 01:49 PM ET

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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.