By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2017-18 season for the Detroit Red Wings' prospects. Twice a week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player in the system, focusing on his statistical highs. This week we focus on forward Matt Puempel.
The Detroit Red Wings had a logjam of defensemen at their AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins early last season.
In order to ease the situation, on Oct. 21, 2017, the Wings traded defenseman Ryan Sproul, who had cleared waivers, to the New York Rangers in exchange for forward Matt Puempel.
Puempel, 25, was originally drafted in the first round, 24th overall, by the Ottawa Senators in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
In 79 NHL games with the Senators and Rangers, Puempel has 10 goals and five assists.
When healthy, Puempel was one of the more offensively productive forwards for the Griffins.
5 -- Before the trade, Puempel played in five games for the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers' AHL affiliate. Puempel also had a five-game point streak from Dec. 29 to Jan. 5. He had a goal and an assist on Dec. 29 against the Cleveland Monsters; a goal on Dec. 30 at Cleveland; a goal and an assist on Dec. 31 against the Milwaukee Admirals; a goal on Jan. 3 at Milwaukee; and three assists on Jan. 5 against the Rockford IceHogs.
4 -- Puempel had a career-high four-game goal streak from Dec. 29 to Jan. 3
57 -- After the trade, Puempel played in 57 games with the Griffins.
3 -- On Oct. 27 against the Chicago Wolves, Puempel had three assists in his Griffins debut. He also had three assists on Jan. 5 against the IceHogs.
23 -- Puempel scored 23 goals, 22 of them for the Griffins during the 2017-18 season. His AHL career best is 30 goals in 74 games during the 2013-14 season for the Binghamton Senators.
57 -- In addition to his 23 goals, Puempel had 34 assists, resulting in an AHL career-high 57 points between Grand Rapids and Hartford. Puempel's previous career high was 48 points in the 2013-14 season for the Senators.
13 -- Puempel missed 13 games due to injury, seven in December and six in February.
300 -- Puempel played in his 300th professional game on March 20 at the Milwaukee Admirals. He had two shots on goal but did not register a point in that game.
Quotable: "He's a guy that we kind of watched from afar. He's had a couple of stints in the NHL but hasn't been able to stick as a full-time player so when we made the trade for Ryan Sproul for him, I think it was a win-win. It was a situation where the Rangers needed a depth defenseman and we had too many defense(men) in Grand Rapids and the chance to get a guy like Matt into the organization where he's not in his entry-level contract, he's not in the first couple of years pro, he's sort of what we like to call a middle-tier prospect where he's 25 years old and maybe a new organization and change of scenery gives him the opportunity to show what he can do and then try to sort of establish himself as a more consistent NHL player. He has not been to one of our training camps yet so I know he is looking forward, as are we, to the prospect of him coming out to training camp to show coach (Jeff) Blashill and his staff what he can do. He was one of our leading scorers in Grand Rapids last year. He's a high-end American League player. He was an All-Star last year and a guy that we see certainly as a realistic depth prospect right now and maybe more if he can get an opportunity to show what he can do and take that next step in his career." -- Ryan Martin, Detroit Red Wings assistant general manager and Grand Rapids Griffins general manager