Saarijarvi, Borkowski Re-Join Griffins

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday reassigned defenseman Vili Saarijarvi (VIH-lee SAH-ree-YAHR-vee) to the Grand Rapids Griffins from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye, while the Griffins recalled forward Mike Borkowski from Toledo. 

In his first full professional season, Saarijarvi, 20, has scored six points (2-4—6) and added two penalty minutes and a plus-two rating in 10 games with the Walleye. He notched back-to-back two-point games on Nov. 24 and 26. The 5-foot-10, 178-pound blueliner has appeared in four contests with Grand Rapids this season, contributing one assist and two penalty minutes. 

Detroit’s second choice, 73rd overall, in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Saarijarvi tallied 31 points (11-20—31) in 34 regular season games with the Ontario Hockey League’s Mississauga Steelheads in 2016-17 before leading all team defensemen with 15 points (5-10—15) in 20 playoff appearances. 

Saarijarvi has represented his home country of Finland at the 2017 and 2016 World Junior Championships and won the gold medal in 2016. He made his pro debut with the Walleye at the end of the 2015-16 season and scored four points (1-3—4) in five games.

Borkowski leads the Walleye with 20 points (9-11—20) while also ranking second on the team in goals and tying for third in assists. He accounted for both of Toledo’s goals in today’s 5-2 matinee game loss to Fort Wayne. The second-year pro banked his first career hat trick on Nov. 11 vs. Wheeling and a career-high four points (2-2—4) on Nov. 17 at Cincinnati. 

During his first full professional season in 2016-17, Borkowski skated in 51 games with the Griffins, contributing five points (3-2—5) and two PIM. The 25-year-old appeared in one postseason contest and helped the Griffins win the Calder Cup. Borkowski also played in six games with the Walleye, totaling nine points (3-6—9) and a plus-10 rating.

The 6-foot, 192-pound center made his pro debut with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators near the end of the 2015-16 campaign after finishing a four-year career at Colgate University (ECAC). In 12 games with the Senators, Borkowski posted three points (2-1—3) and logged his first pro goal in his debut on March 13. 

The Griffins return to Van Andel Arena on Friday when they host the Rockford IceHogs at 7 p.m. to begin a three-games-in-three-nights stretch. 

Single-game tickets are currently on sale. Fans can secure their full-seasonselect-season or groupticket packages by calling (616) 774-4585 ext. 2 or visit griffinshockey.com for more information.

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