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McCollum earns one-year NHL contract

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Tom McCollum was the first American-born player selected in the first round (No. 30 in 2008) by the Red Wings. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT – A former first-round draft pick, goalie Tom McCollum has signed a one-year NHL contract with the Red Wings.

The 24-year-old McCollum played in Grand Rapids last season under an American Hockey League contract.

The demotion seemed to pay off for McCollum, who produced several career bests in his fifth season with the Griffins, posting a 24-12-4 record with a 2.30 goals against average, a .922 save percentage and two shutouts in 46 games.

In the wake of injuries in Detroit, McCollum shined while replacing goalie Petr Mrazek, who was called up to the NHL six times last season.

When his NHL contract with the Wings expired following the 2012-13 season, McCollum’s future with the organization was very much in peril.

Coupled with the opportunity that was presented, McCollum’s work ethic and determination yielded positive results, which undoubtedly helped him earn a new NHL contract.

After five AHL seasons, McCollum ranks third all time among Griffins goaltenders, trailing Joey MacDonald and Jimmy Howard in games played (159) and wins (69). It’s expected that McCollum, who agreed to a two-way contract, will play backup to Red Wings’ top goalie prospect Petr Mrazek in Grand Rapids, while Jake Paterson and Jared Coreau will play in Toledo (ECHL).

McCollum made his NHL debut with the Red Wings on March 30, 2011, making five saves in a relief effort in a 10-3 loss to St. Louis at Joe Louis Arena. He was the only American ever taken by the Red Wings in the first round of the NHL draft, until last weekend when Detroit selected Waterford, Mich., native Dylan Larkin with the No. 15 pick.

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