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Justin Abdelkader
JAbdelkader.jpg
Born February 25, 1987 (1987-02-25) (age 30)
Muskegon, Michigan
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)
Position Left wing/center
Shoots Left
NHL team Detroit Red Wings
National team Flag of the United States.svg United States
NHL Draft 42nd overall, 2005
Detroit Red Wings
Playing career 2008–present

Justin Abdelkader (born on February 25, 1987) is an American ice hockey forward currently playing for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Playing CareerEdit

Amateur Playing CareerEdit

On April 7, 2007, Justin scored the game-winning goal in the 2007 NCAA Championship Game against Boston College, securing the NCAA Division 1 National Championship for Michigan State University and earning him the Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player.

Justin scored the latest game-winning regulation goal ever scored in an NCAA Frozen Four championship game when he scored with just 18.9 seconds left.

NHL CareerEdit

Justin was selected by the Detroit Red Wings with the 42nd overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

On April 3, 2008, Justin signed a one-game amateur tryout with the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL and was to play that night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. In doing so, he forfeited his college eligibility for the 2008–09 season.

The following day, Justin signed a three-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings. He scored 24 goals for the Grand Rapids Griffins during the 2008–09 season and was one of the team's best offensive players in the playoffs.

On May 8, 2009, Justin was brought up to the Red Wings as the replacement for Tomas Kopecky who sat out Game 5 of the Western Conference semi-finals series against the Anaheim Ducks. Coach Mike Babcock sent Abdelkader to replace Kopecky "because he'll run over people. We expect him to play hard like Darren Helm. He's on the forecheck and he's a physical guy."

During the game, Justin scored his first career point on an assist to Johan Franzen.

On May 30, 2009, Justin scored his first career NHL goal in Game 1 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

After shooting the puck, Justin grabbed the rebound out of the air with his glove, dropped the puck, and beat Marc-André Fleury high stick side. His second goal came nearly 24 hours later in the second game of the series, off of what commentators described as a "knuckle puck."

Justin carried the puck into the forward zone alone against three Penguins defenders and fired a slapshot past Fleury. He became the first rookie to score a goal in consecutive finals games since Minnesota's Dino Ciccarelli did it in 1981.

During the 2009–10 season Justin played 50 games for the Red Wings scoring 3 goals, while adding 3 assists. He was then re-signed by the Red Wings on a two-year extension worth $1.575 million.

The 2010–11 season was Justin's first full NHL season as a Red Wing. He played in 74 games, scoring 7 goals, and adding 12 assists.

During the 2011–12 season, Justin missed only one game to finish with 8 goals and 22 points in 81 games.

On September 14, 2012, Justin signed a four year, $7.2 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings. His 2013 season was off to a good start, but he has since been sidelined after an illegal hit from Deryk Engelland.

Career StatisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2004–05 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 6027255286 110448
2005–06 Michigan State Spartans CCHA 4410122283
2006–07 Michigan State Spartans CCHA 3815183391
2007–08 Michigan State Spartans CCHA 42192140107
2007–08 Detroit Red Wings NHL 20002
2008–09 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 76242852102 1062823
2008–09 Detroit Red Wings NHL 20000 102130
2009–10 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 3311132486
2009–10 Detroit Red Wings NHL 5033635 1111236
2010–11 Detroit Red Wings NHL 747121961 1100022
2011–12 Detroit Red Wings NHL 818142262 50002
2012–13 Detroit Red Wings NHL 481031334 1221333
NHL totals 257283260194 4953893

International StatisticsEdit

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2007 United States WJC 702210
2012 United States WC 81344
Junior int'l totals 702210

International PlayEdit

Medal record
Competitor for Flag of the United States.svg United States
Men's ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Bronze 2007 Leksand

Justin was selected to play for the United States national junior team at the 2007 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Sweden.

Personal LifeEdit

Justin's parents are Joseph and Sheryl Abdelkader. The surname "Abdelkader" is Arabic. His paternal grandfather, Yusuf Abdul Qadir (later Joseph Abdelkader), emigrated from Jordan when he was 19 years old to Muskegon, Michigan where he later met a Polish girl named Susie.

Justin was born and raised in Norton Shores and graduated from Mona Shores High School in 2005.

He was named to the all-state hockey team and awarded the Mr. Hockey award which is given to the top high school ice hockey player in Michigan.

During his senior year, Justin played for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL, and helped the team win the 2004–05 Clark Cup Championship.

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