Detroit, MI… Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland today announced that the team has signed forward Justin Abdelkader to a four-year deal. In accordance with team policy, additional terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Abdelkader, 25, was Detroit’s second round pick (42nd overall) in the 2005 National Hockey League Entry Draft. The 6-1, 219-lb. forward skated in a career-high 81 games for the Red Wings last season, posting a career-best 22 points (8-14-22). He led the team with six fighting majors, finished second on the team with 148 hits and posted a career-high 62 PIM. In just over three NHL seasons, Abdelkader has played in 209 career games, registering 47 points (18-29-47), 493 hits and 160 PIM.
Abdelkader spent the majority of his first two professional seasons in the American Hockey League with the Grand Rapids Griffins. In 2008-09, he appeared in 76 games for Grand Rapids, finishing second on the team with 52 points (24-28-52) and leading the team with 102 PIM. His 24 goals tied for third among AHL rookies. Abdelkader was named to the 2009 AHL All-Rookie Team and was a finalist for the AHL’s Rookie of the Year Award. In 2009-10, he was named an assistant captain in Grand Rapids and skated in 33 games with the Griffins, notching 24 points (11-13-24) and 86 PIM.
Prior to turning pro, Abdelkader played three seasons at Michigan State University and helped the Spartans capture the 2007 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey title during his sophomore campaign. He tallied the game-winning goal with just 18.9 seconds left in Michigan State’s 3-1 victory over Boston College in the championship game. Abdelkader was named both the 2007 NCAA Tournament Most Valuable Player and the 2007 Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player.
Born and raised in Muskegon, Mich., Abdelkader was named Mr. Hockey in 2004 by the Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association following his junior season at Muskegon Mona Shores High School. Abdelkader left Mona Shores prior to his senior year in order to play one season with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the United States Hockey League and led the RoughRiders to a Clark Cup championship in 2004-05.