At 5-10, 198 pounds, Finnish forward Teemu Pulkkinen is no longer being looked at like a passed over first-round talent and instead he’s being looked at as a potential top-six forward in the NHL someday.
Drafted 110th in 2010, mainly because of his injury history and size (he's gained 22 pounds since he was drafted), this talented prospect has managed to get 94 points in 128 games for SM-liiga. At 20, he’s already a veteran playing against men overseas and when the time comes he will come to Detroit and become a fan favorite for sure.
One can make the argument that playing in the Finnish Elite League is as good as playing in the AHL, possibly better, and that’s one reason the Red Wings have allowed this talent to continue to sharpen his skills in his homeland where he’s comfortable. Another is he’s not allowed to play in the AHL until 2013-14 because he played in Europe and was drafted in 2010. Since the Wings rarely rush anybody he should spend the year overseas.
I felt he had first round talent and now his solid one-on-one skills, on-ice awareness, and improved play in both ends is getting him noticed. He possesses an excellent shot and he can score on a slapper deep or along the side of the net.
This right winger’s numbers were elevated during international play and that speaks to his high compete level. Another trait is his ability to log a fair amount of ice time. In time he will be the kind of player that the Red Wings covet and others shake their heads wondering why they didn’t draft him.
photo courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
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