Pulkkinen has been selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, TSN's Bob McKenzie reports. Vegas will be Pulkkinen's fourth team in his brief career. In 89 career NHL games, the Finnish sniper has tallied 13 goals. Pulkkinen is a well below-average skater, but he has a bomb of a shot and is a huge asset on the power play. He's still just 25 years old, and Vegas would be wise to give Pulkkinen a legitimate shot at earning a top-six forward spot out of training camp.
Pulkkinen was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game Thursday against Florida, and he has played just three of 12 contests since joining Arizona. Pulkkinen cannot carve out a full-time role despite his impressive AHL production and excellent shooting arsenal. While time is running out for the 25-year-old winger, there is a chance the addition of the Las Vegas franchise next year will create an opening somewhere for the gifted Finn. Pulkkinen is still worth stashing in deep keeper/dynasty settings.
Pulkkinen celebrated his Coyotes debut with a goal and three shots Thursday, although the team still suffered a 6-3 loss in Buffalo. Acquired on Monday from Minnesota, he skated just 10:55, the lowest mark among Arizona forwards, which isn't a very promising indicator of ongoing production. That said, the Coyotes are going absolutely nowhere, so it wouldn't be surprising for them to give young guys like Pulkkinen some extra ice time down the stretch. He certainly possesses the talent to capitalize if that happens.
Pulkkinen was traded to Arizona on Monday, with Minnesota exchanging the player for future considerations. The Finn had already cleared waivers Monday, and now will join the Coyotes ahead of their game in Boston on Tuesday. Possessing a good release and a wicked one-timer, Pulkkinen has proven to be an offensive weapon in the AHL, tallying 157 points in 166 games. The Yotes' offense and power play both rank 27th in the league, so expect Pulkkinen to be given ample opportunities to contribute.
Pulkkinen was placed on waivers Sunday, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. The forward only has one point in nine games played in the NHL, although he does have a solid 35 points in 46 games in the minors. If he clears waivers, he'll head to AHL Iowa.
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