DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings today signed defenseman Luke Witkowski to a two-year contract.
Witkowski, 27, is a Holland, Mich., native who has spent each of his four professional seasons in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. Witkowski played a career-high 34 NHL games for the Lightning in 2016-17, logging four assists and 39 penalty minutes. He also registered 24 shots on goal, 81 hits and 21 blocked shots. The 6-foot-2, 217-pound blueliner also served as captain of the American Hockey League's Syracuse Crunch prior to moving up to full-time NHL duty, picking up five assists, a plus-five rating and 59 penalty minutes in 19 games for the team. In 54 career NHL appearances since 2014-15, Witkowski has notched four points (0-4-4) and 58 penalty minutes, while also appearing in 218 AHL games for the Crunch since the end of the 2012-13 season and recording 39 points (7-32-39), a plus-12 rating and 524 penalty minutes.
Originally a sixth-round pick (160th overall) of the Lightning in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Witkowski spent four seasons at Western Michigan University prior to turning professional, where he played under Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill in 2010-11 and skated alongside Detroit defenseman Danny DeKeyser from 2010-13. He played 152 games with the Broncos from 2009-13 - serving as team captain as a senior in 2012-13 - and tallied 38 points (7-31-38), a plus-seven rating and 235 penalty minutes. Witkowski was a member of Western Michigan's Central Collegiate Hockey Association championship in 2011-12 and earned a spot on the CCHA Second All-Star Team in 2012-13. Witkowski spent two seasons in the United States Hockey League before his collegiate career, recording 35 points (9-26-35), a plus-20 rating and 257 penalty minutes in 113 games for the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets and Fargo Force from 2007-09.
Luke Witkowski, Defenseman
Born Apr 14 1990 - Holland, MI
Height 6.02 -- Weight 217 -- Shoots R
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning round 6 #160 overall 2008 NHL Entry Draft