Tyler Bertuzzi's alley-oop pass to Teemu Pulkkinen. (via NHL/YouTube)
From inside his own zone, Red Wings prospect Tyler Bertuzzi made an alley-oop pass right onto the tape of teammate Teemu Pulkkinen during Detroit’s Thursday pre-season tilt. Bertuzzi is coming off the best OHL season of his career and had a fantastic showing in the AHL post-season.
When it comes to watching offensive creativity, Detroit Red Wings fans have been spoiled over the past decade. After all, there are few players who are more fun to watch with the puck on his stick than Pavel Datsyuk. But Tyler Bertuzzi got Red Wings fans out of their seats Thursday night.
Early in the third period, with Detroit already leading 4-0 in their pre-season tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Bertuzzi took a pass on the left wing in the Red Wings’ zone. With eyes on Teemu Pulkkinen streaking up the right wing, Bertuzzi hoisted the puck into the air, up over the Penguins defenders and right onto the tape of Pulkkinen, who made no mistake and buried the partial-breakaway tally.
When it comes to alley-oop passes, this might be the best one the NHL has seen yet:
Even though his creativity likely impressed just about everyone in the building — coaching staff and front office members included — it’s going to be tough for Bertuzzi to crack the Red Wings’ lineup this season. With Detroit’s process for developing young players, Bertuzzi, the nephew of former Red Wing Todd Bertuzzi, will probably spend at least one to two seasons learning in the AHL.
Bertuzzi was drafted in the second round, 58th overall, by Detroit in 2013. This past season, he scored 43 goals and 98 points for the Guelph Storm, which were the best totals of his career. After his OHL season ended, Bertuzzi headed to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. In two regular season tilts, Bertuzzi scored one goal and followed that performance up with seven goals and 12 points in 14 AHL contests.
And with production like that and creativity like what he displayed Thursday night, the Red Wings look like they could have another good prospect in their system.