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Abdelkader Top AHL Rookie
First year forward's strong play earns rookie of the month award...
By Jason Kasiorek

West Michigan native Justin Abdelkader continued his dominance as a pro by garnering the AHL's rookie of the month honor in his first month of play. The former MSU standout leads all AHL rookies in scoring and goals, totals which also see him among the lead leaders for all players. Detroitıs second round choice in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Justin has followed up on a storied collegiate hockey career with a tremendous pro start. He joined the parent Detroit Red Wings at the end of the season, making his pro debut and practicing as a black ace through the eventual cup win. This season, he scored his first pro goal in his first game, against Lake Erie and than followed that up with 6 more in the next 6 games.

Abdelkader becomes just the second Griffin to be named as rookie of the month, following NHL'er Tomas Kopecky who garnered the award in February 2003. Justin will be honored in a pre-game ceremony and presented with a crystal award in recognition of his achievement.