GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.
– On Tuesday, the Griffins bid a temporary farewell to rookie left wing Tomas Tatar
, who was reassigned by the Red Wings to Slovakia’s national junior team.
Tatar, 19, will compete for his country at the 2010 World Junior Championship, which will take place in Saskatchewan from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. Slovakia, which joins Canada, Latvia, Switzerland and the United States in Group A, will open the preliminary round on Dec. 26 by facing Team USA in Saskatoon. Complete information about the tournament can be found at iihf.com
Tatar led Slovakia to a fourth-place finish at last year’s WJC, pacing his team and tying for fourth overall in the tournament with 11 points (7-4—11) in seven games and placing second overall with seven goals.
The American Hockey League’s youngest player, Tatar became the first Red Wings' draft pick (second choice, 60th overall in 2009) during the teams’ eight-year affiliation to start a season with the Griffins in his draft year.
The Ilava, Slovakia, native has made a quick adjustment to the North American professional ranks, currently standing among the league’s top rookies with eight goals (T6th), 16 points (15th), a plus-11 rating (5th), three game-winning goals (T2nd) and a 0.200 shooting percentage (4th) in 22 games.