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Justin Abdelkader (born February 25, 1987 in Muskegonmarker, Michiganmarker) is an Americanmarker ice hockey forward currently playing for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League.

College career

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

Detroit Red Wings

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

On April 3, 2008, Abdelkader signed a one-game amateur tryout with the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League 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, Abdelkader signed a three-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings.

Abdelkader scored 23 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 Abdelkader was named the replacement for Tomáš Kopecký, who sat out Game 5 of the Western Conference semi-finals series against the Anaheim Ducks. Coach Mike Babcock sent Abdelkader to replace Kopecký "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 Abdelkader scored his first career point on an assist to Johan Franzén.

Abdelkader scored his first career NHL goal on May 30, 2009 in Game 1 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins. After shooting the puck, he 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." He 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.

International play

Abdelkader was selected to play for the United Statesmarker Junior National Team at the IIHF World Junior Championship in Swedenmarker in 2007.

Personal life

Justin Abdelkader is the son of Joseph and Sheryl Abdelkader. The surname Abdelkader is Arabic. His paternal grandfather, Yusef Abdelkader (Americanized Joseph Abdelkader), emigrated to Muskegon from Jordanmarker when he was 18 years old where he later met a Polish girl named Susie.

Abdelkader was born and raised in Norton Shoresmarker and graduated from Mona Shores High School in 2005. He was named to the all-state hockey team and awarded the Mr. Hockey award, given to the top high school ice hockey player in Michigan. During his senior year, he played for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL, and helped the team win the Clark Cup for the USHL Championship.

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

    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 NCAA 44 10 12 22 83
2006–07 Michigan State Spartans NCAA 38 15 18 33 91
2007–08 Michigan State Spartans NCAA 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 9 2 1 3 0
NCAA totals 124 44 51 95 281
NHL totals 4 0 0 0 2


Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2007 USA WJC 7 0 2 2 10


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