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Player Grades 2017: The Curious Case of Teemu Pulkkinen

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The deadline acquisition of Teemu Pulkkinen brings more questions than answers.

Arizona Coyotes v Buffalo Sabres

Teemu Pulkkinen is a 25-year-old forward that was acquired by the Coyotes from the Minnesota Wild before the 2017 trade deadline in exchange for future considerations. Prior to that trade, he played 9 NHL games with the Wild and 47 AHL games with their Iowa-based affiliate.

Teemu Pulkkinen’s Stats

Team GP Mins Mins/GP G A P GF GA GF/60 GA/60 Sh% Sv% CF/60 CA/60 CF% CF% rel
Team GP Mins Mins/GP G A P GF GA GF/60 GA/60 Sh% Sv% CF/60 CA/60 CF% CF% rel
ARI,MIN 13 122 9.4 2 0 2 6 8 3 3.9 11.80% 86.90% 52.3 55.8 48.40% 1.20%
Teemu Pulkkinen’s Basic Stats datarink.com

The acquisition price for Pulkkinen was extremely cheap since future considerations is basically the NHL equivalent of writing an IOU. It is not unreasonable to speculate that Pulkkinen was meant to be part of the deal that sent Martin Hanzal and Ryan White to the Wild, which only just occurred the day before. A possible reason for the delay is that he had been with the Wild’s AHL affiliate and the Coyotes wanted him on the NHL roster without being the ones to bear the cost of the call-up.

After the trade, he only played 4 games with the Coyotes and it remains unclear what his future with the club will be. Pulkkinen is currently a Restricted Free Agent and is not exempt from the expansion draft. If he’s not selected by Vegas or traded, will he be re-signed on an AHL deal or an NHL one?

Pulkkinen was originally drafted 111th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in 2010. Over his career, in 83 NHL games Pulkkinen has a scoring record of 13-9-22, but in 166 AHL games, his record is an impressive 83-74-157. So far he hasn’t been able to convert that AHL success into a full-time NHL spot, but is that due to his lack of ability or being mishandled by previous teams? If he’s not able to translate his game to a be a full-time NHL player, would he be willing to stay in the AHL and boost the offense of the Tucson Roadrunners?

Pulkkinen is a speedy, offensive winger with a good shot and the ability to create plays. His defensive game will definitely need work, especially if he wants to remain in the Dave Tippett led systems used by both the Roadrunners and Coyotes.

Overall, his grade for this season is a B-, mostly for his potential and inexpensive acquisition price.

The grades of all the other Coyotes players can be found on our master post here.

Poll

What Grade Would You Give Teemu Pulkkinen?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    A
    (10 votes)
  • 11%
    B
    (10 votes)
  • 31%
    C
    (27 votes)
  • 16%
    D
    (14 votes)
  • 10%
    F
    (9 votes)
  • 18%
    Teemu who? Not Selanne...
    (16 votes)
86 votes total Vote Now