From The Ice

Minnesota Wild claim Teemu Pulkkinen off waivers

13 October 2015: Detroit Red Wings forward Teemu Pulkkinen (56), of Finland, skates with the puck in the first period of the Tampa Bay Lightning at Detroit Red Wings NHL hockey game, at Joe Louis Arena, in Detroit, MI. (Photo by Tony Ding/Icon Sportswire)

Minnesota Wild have claimed 24-year-old forward Teemu Pulkkinen, after the Detroit Red Wings took the decision to place him on waivers on Monday.

Selected in the fourth round (11th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Red Wings, Pulkkinen has made 70 career NHL appearances to date, registering eleven goals and 20 points. He is yet to feature in the NHL post season.

He signed a one-year, $812,500 contract with the Red Wings in July, but failed to nail down a place on the team during training camp and seems to have struggled to adapt to the NHL, despite being a well thought of prospect with good AHL numbers, with many analysts believing his foot speed was not sufficient to play at the top level.

He will become a restricted free agent next summer.

In 119 AHL games for Grand Rapids Griffins, Pulkkinen scored 65 goals and 121 points, adding a further 22 goals and 34 points in 40 AHL play-off games helping the team win the Calder Cup in 2013.

The Vantaa native also represented Finland at the recent World Cup of Hockey, registering two assists, and the 2016 IIHF World Championships, where the national side won a silver medal.

The decision to waive Pulkkinen appeared to leave Detroit room to include Andreas Athanasiou or Anthony Mantha on their roster, though the organisation subsequently chose to send Mantha to Grand Rapids on Tuesday.

The Red Wings are still just over $4 million over the cap ceiling, a situation they must address by 5PM Eastern on Tuesday as the 2016-17 NHL regular season begins on Wednesday.

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