Former Detroit Red Wings Prospect Teemu Pulkkinen, 25, was drafted by the Vegas Golden Knights in Wednesday's expansion draft.
Like I wrote about Tomas Jurco earlier today, this might the last big opportunity in the NHL for Pulkkinen, the pint-sized sniping right-winger who tore up the AHL and looked promising in Detroit in 2015-16 until sidelined by an injury.
Pulkkinen was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Wild last fall, after a summer of rehab. He only worked his way into nine games, scoring one goal, before he was traded to Arizona for future considerations. For the Coyotes, Pulkkinen scored in his first game.
He only played three more games.
So far in his NHL career, Pulkkinen has 13 goals and nine assists in 83 games.
Pulkkinen was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. He immediately turned heads with a record setting rookie season for Jokerit Helsinki, scoring 18 goals and 54 points. His stats declined the next two years in Finland before coming to Grand Rapids.
In his rookie AHL season, he scored 31 goals and had 59 points. The Red Wings, under coach Mike Babcock (notoriously untrusting of small wingers), couldn't find a spot for him the next year. In 46 AHL games, Pulkkinen scored 34 goals and 61 points. He added 14 goals in 16 playoff games.
When coach Jeff Blashill took over the Red Wings, Pulkkinen went with him. In his first 21 games he scored six goals and five assists. He was hurt Dec. 3. He returned in January but only played 12 games, just 9:52 a night, and he had just one assist.