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Detroit extends Abdelkader for seven years

by Kyle Kujawa / Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland announced today that the team has signed left wing Justin Abdelkader to a seven-year contract extension.

Abdelkader, 28, has spent his entire NHL career with the Red Wings since being drafted by the club in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. In 413 NHL games since 2007-08, he has recorded 139 points (65-74-139) and 309 penalty minutes. Abdelkader enjoyed a breakout season in 2014-15, setting career highs in goals (23), assists (21) and points (44) – more than doubling his previous career-high goal total of 10. He tied for fifth on the team in scoring and also ranked among team leaders with 153 hits (1st), five game-winning goals (T2nd), eight power-play goals (T3rd) and 154 shots on goal (6th). The eighth-year pro was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week on Oct. 12 after recording a hat trick on opening night (Oct. 9 vs. Toronto) and posting five points (4-1-5) and registering the game-winning goal in each of Detroit’s first two games.

The Muskegon, Mich., native turned pro in 2007-08 after his junior season at Michigan State University, appearing in two regular-season games and serving as a Black Ace during the team’s 2008 Stanley Cup championship run. Abdelkader logged 10 appearances the following postseason, scoring his first two NHL goals during the 2009 Stanley Cup Final. In 59 career playoff games, he has logged 12 points (5-7-12) and 105 penalty minutes.

Abdelkader also played parts of two seasons (2008-10) with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins, picking up 76 points (35-41-76) in 109 games and earning a spot on the 2009 AHL All-Rookie Team. Prior to turning professional, he registered 95 points (44-51-95) in 124 collegiate games for the Spartans and scored the game-winning goal in the 2007 NCAA National Championship game against Boston College, earning honors as the tournament’s most-valuable player. The following season, he was named the CCHA’s Best Defensive Forward and won the CCHA’s Mike and Marian Ilitch Humanitarian Award. Abdelkader was also a 2005 Clark Cup champion with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders of the United States Hockey League and won the state of Michigan’s Mr. Hockey Award in 2004, becoming the first high school junior to do so.

Internationally, Abdelkader captured a bronze medal with the United States at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship in Mora and Leksand, Sweden. He has also twice skated for his country at the IIHF World Championship, notching four points (1-3-4) in eight games in 2012 and adding four points (3-1-4) in seven games in 2014 while serving as the team’s captain.

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