2008-09: Teemu Pulkkinen played for the Jokerit club in the U-20 Junior “A” league. In 24 games, Pulkkinen scored 15 goals and added 13 assists for 28 points. Was part of the 2009 U-18 World Junior Championship team for Finland. In 6 games, he scored 7 goals and added 6 assists for 13 points.
2009-10: Split time between Jokerit’s U-20 team and the Elite club. In 17 games, Pulkkinen scored 20 goals and added 21 assists for 41 points. In 4 playoff games, he scored 3 goals and chipped in 3 assists for 6 points. In 12 games at the Elite level, Pulkkinen scored 1 goal and picked up 2 assists for 3 points. Pulkkinen played for Finland at the U-18 World Junior Championships. In 6 games, he scored 10 goals and added 5 assists for 15 points.
2010-11: Pulkkinen had a very impressive season for Jokerit. He played 55 games for the team, where he posted 18 goals and 36 assists. The assists he put up broke Teemu Selanne’s single-season record, made over 20 years ago. His post-season was cut shore due to a kidney infection, as he was only able to put up 1 assist in 3 games for Jokerit. Pulkkinen continued to shine in international play, as his 3 goals and 6 assists for 9 points in 6 games stood out at the tournament.
2011-12: Pulkkinen slumped a bit in his second season in the SM-Liiga after scoring at a near point-per-game pace and finishing plus-23 as a rookie. He finished with 37 points and an even plus/minus in 56 games and was limited in the playoffs. Despite his struggles, Pulkkinen ended the season as Jokerit’s second-leading scorer with 16 goals and 21 assists. Due to nagging injuries and fatigue skated in 4 of 10 playoff games during Jokerit’s run to the semifinals and was minus-three with 1 assist. Pulkkinen was the leading scorer for Finland at the U20 World Junior Championship, finishing with 6 goals and 4 assists and was plus-4 in seven games. Finland finished fourth after taking eventual champion Sweden in a shootout in the semifinals. Pulkkinen signed a three-year entry-level contract with Detroit in May 2012.
2012-13: Pulkkinen made his debut in North American pro hockey — joining Detroit AHL affiliate Grand Rapids in April following his third season with Jokerit in Finland. He had an assist and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes in two regular season games. The Griffins finished first in the Midwest Division and captured the Calder Cup championship. Pulkkinen played in 14 playoff games ,scoring 3 goals with 2 assists, and was +2 with 10 penalty minutes. In Finland’s SM-Liiga he was the third-leading scorer for regular season champion Jokerit, scoring 14 goals with 20 assists in 59 games and finishing +5 with 49 penalty minutes. The Helsinki club lost to Lukko in a quarterfinal playoff series and Pulkkinen was the team’s leading scorer with 2 goals and 3 assists in six games; finishing +2 with 22 penalty minutes.
2013-14: Pulkkinen made his NHL debut with the Red Wings in a game against Edmonton on March 14th — skating in three late season games with Detroit — and was the leading scorer for the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins in his first season in North America. He had no points and 2 penalty minutes, averaging 7:28 minutes of ice time, during his time with the Red Wings. Pulkkinen scored 31 goals with 28 assists and was +18 with 34 penalty minute in 71 regular season games for Grand Rapids. The Griffins finished second in the Midwest Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Pulkkinen scored 5 goals with 6 assists and was +8 with 10 penalty minutes in 10 playoff games.
2014-15: Pulkkinen was recalled by the Red Wings in January after spending the first half of the year with AHL affiliate Grand Rapids. Steadily working his way into a larger role for Detroit, he was dominant in AHL play. In 46 games with the Griffins he scored 34 goals with 27 assists and was +1 with 30 penalty minutes.
Pulkkinen has first-class, high end talent with a very dangerous shot, as it is both heavy and accurate. He also has a very quick release. Pulkkinen has some playmaking skills to go with his scoring ability. He is not the best skater but makes up for it with his ability to hang onto the puck. His defensive awareness is spotty at times, not uncommon for young players who were dominant scorers at the junior levels.
Pulkkinen has the offensive game to play professionally and has dominated at the AHL level in his first two seasons in North America. He projects as a future NHL forward who can score consistently providing he continues to develop the supplementary areas of his game.