It’s time now.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock finally listened to Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, and Teemu Pulkkinen is on his way to Detroit from the AHL affiliate.
The 23-year-old right wing, a right-handed shot (desperately needed), has blitzed the AHL with 20 goals and 19 assists in 33 games with the Griffins this season.
This won’t be Pulkkinen’s first taste of the NHL; he played in three games for the Red Wings last season. But his call-up this time figures to be more long term.
The injury bug has hit the Red Wings, and Blashill has been telling Babcock for quite some time that Pulkkinen is ready for a more extended stay in the NHL.
Pulkkinen skated on a line with Riley Sheahan and Drew Miller today before the team flew to Washington, D.C. for Saturday’s game against the Capitals.
“He’s got an unbelievable shot,” Sheahan said of Pulkkinen. “He’s a great skater. I think just for him it’s going to be confidence and coming in here playing his game.”
Pulkkinen said it’s good to be back with the Wings.
“Just hard work,” Pulkkinen explaining the production he’s had with the Griffins. “I had a good summer. When you have confidence you score goals. You play better and better all the time.”
Pulkkinen, who just turned 23 last week, is listed at 5’11” and 185 pounds. He was the Red Wings’ fourth round pick in the 2010 Entry Draft.