Matt Puempel. Photo courtesy of Bryan Peck/AHL via Wikipedia.

Red Wings give Windsor-Essex native a new contract

The Detroit Red Wings want to keep a Windsor-Essex native in their system a while longer.

The NHL club announced Sunday that they had signed Windsor native Matt Puempel, 25, to a two-year contract extension. Puempel is currently assigned to the Wings’ AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he scored 22 goals for 54 points last season.

Puempel was born in Windsor but grew up in Essex. In his first OHL season, in 2009-10 with the Peterborough Petes, he led the league in points and goals and was named the CHL Rookie of the Year.

His production waned the following year due to injury, but he was taken by the Ottawa Senators in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft as the 24th overall pick. In the summer of 2012 the Petes traded Puempel to the Kitchener Rangers and he split time with them and the Senators’ AHL team in Binghamton, New York.

Puempel made his NHL debut with Ottawa in the 2014-15 season. He played 54 games over three seasons, scoring four goals, before being dealt to the New York Rangers. He scored six goals for the Blue Shirts in the 2016-17 season and was traded to Detroit, spending this past season with their Grand Rapids club.