The Detroit Red Wings have recalled forward Matt Puempel from the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Wings have been stricken with multiple injuries, and need healthy bodies to finish the season.
Detroit acquired Matt Puempel from the New York Rangers shortly after the start of last season in exchange for defenseman Ryan Sproul. He’s had back to back strong seasons down on the farm for the Detroit Red Wings, and it’s time to give him a fair opportunity to leave a good impression in the show.
While the Wings are giving collegiate graduate players such as Ryan Kuffner and Taro Hirose and opportunity to play with the winged wheel on their jersey why not provide the 26-year-old Puempel with a look. He’s played sparingly in the NHL in both of his other stops throughout his career. He was originally drafted in the first round, 24th overall in the 2011 Entry Level draft by the Ottawa Senators.
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He played a total of 52 games with the Sens where he recorded 4 goals and added 2 assists. The Sens would later place him on waivers, but he was claimed by the Rangers where he scored 6 goals and notched 9 points in 27 games.
Puempel reminds me of a smaller Michael Rasmussen. Although Puempel is a winger and Rasmussen is a natural center both players have made a living doing the majority of their damage right in front of the net. Both players won’t impress you with their skating ability, nor with either of them at this point in their career be reliable defensively. Both players do a lot of their damage on the power-play and have a nose for the front of the net with good enough hands to finish in tight to the goal. Unfortunately, Matt merely averaged 9:56 TOI during his 79 career games–sound familiar?
This season with the Grand Rapid Griffins he’s been primarily a top-six forward, the Griffins have strengthened their roster lately adding Martin Frk, Dennis Cholowski, Chase Pearson as soon as the Detroit Red Wings season is completed likely Hirose & Kuffner. It seems the Martin Frk experiment in Detroit is over, with Jacob de La Rose sidelined with an unfortunate heart issue the Wings have chosen Puempel rather than Frk to join them on their West coast road trip.
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The Grand Rapids Griffins are once again contenders for the Calder Cup. In 59 regular season games with the Griffins this year Puempel has 24 goals and 26 assists totaling 50 points. He’s from Essex, Ontario about 25 minutes away from downtown Detroit. Consider it almost a homecoming for the young forward and his family.