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Justin Abdelkader
Born February 25, 1987 (1987-02-25) (age 34)
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  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 Career[]

Amateur Playing Career[]

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 Career[]

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 Statistics[]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2004–05 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 60 27 25 52 86 11 0 4 4 8
2005–06 Michigan State Spartans CCHA 44 10 12 22 83
2006–07 Michigan State Spartans CCHA 38 15 18 33 91
2007–08 Michigan State Spartans CCHA 42 19 21 40 107
2007–08 Detroit Red Wings NHL 2 0 0 0 2
2008–09 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 76 24 28 52 102 10 6 2 8 23
2008–09 Detroit Red Wings NHL 2 0 0 0 0 10 2 1 3 0
2009–10 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 33 11 13 24 86
2009–10 Detroit Red Wings NHL 50 3 3 6 35 11 1 1 2 36
2010–11 Detroit Red Wings NHL 74 7 12 19 61 11 0 0 0 22
2011–12 Detroit Red Wings NHL 81 8 14 22 62 5 0 0 0 2
2012–13 Detroit Red Wings NHL 48 10 3 13 34 12 2 1 3 33
NHL totals 257 28 32 60 194 49 5 3 8 93

International Statistics[]

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2007 United States WJC 7 0 2 2 10
2012 United States WC 8 1 3 4 4
Junior int'l totals 7 0 2 2 10

International Play[]

Medal record
Competitor for  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 Life[]

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.