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Pulkkinen Gets Chance with Coyotes

Forward Teemu Pulkkinen embraces trade to Arizona, return to NHL

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

Teemu Pulkkinen reported to the Coyotes on Tuesday morning, but he did not play vs. the Bruins. His debut with Arizona, his third NHL team in the past six months, likely will happen on Thursday at Buffalo. 

Pulkkinen is looking to make an impact in the NHL. The 25-year-old forward from Finland has produced 12 goals and nine assists in 79 League games. He started this season with Detroit, but the Red Wings placed him on waivers three days before the season began and Minnesota claimed him. The Wild gave him a nine-game audition, playing mostly on the fourth line, and he produced one goal and zero assists. Minnesota then assigned him to the American Hockey League.

Playing for the Iowa Wild, Pulkkinen notched a team-high 36 points (18 goals, 18 assists) in 47 games and earned an invitation to the AHL All-Star Game.

Pulkkinen underwent shoulder surgery in July, and he said it slowed him at the start of the season somewhat. 

"It's been OK," Pulkkinen said. "I had surgery during the summer so I was kind of rushed to get in before the season started. I was kind of rusty and didn't play well. The last, I would say two to three months, when I got a lot of ice time down there (in the AHL), I feel good about myself."

Pulkkinen wants to show the Coyotes he can play solid defense. He also wants to display his offensive skills.

"I'm going to skate hard and try to make plays and try to make chances for other guys, and then, for sure, shoot the puck when there's a chance," Pulkkinen said. "That's my style."

Pulkkinen said it's a little awkward coming to the Coyotes, a team that has no other Finns on the roster. 

"But it's going to be OK," Pulkkinen said. "I'm just going to need a couple of days to get to know everyone, and it's going to be good."

Video: Teemu Pulkkinen discusses joining Coyotes

 

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