DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled center Austin Czarnik from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins and placed left wing Tyler Bertuzzi on injured reserve.
Czarnik, 29, has made four appearances with the Red Wings, recording one goal, four shots and six hits in 11:50 average time on ice. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound center has also skated in 12 games with the Griffins and ranks among the team leaders with six goals (3rd), eight assists (T2nd), 14 points (3rd), four power play goals (2nd), one shorthanded goal (1st) and 31 shots (4th). He was named the Howies Hockey Tape/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 16 after tallying five points (3-2-5) in his first two games with Grand Rapids. Czarnik signed with the Red Wings as a free agent on July 13 after splitting the 2021-22 campaign between the New York Islanders and Seattle Kraken, recording five points (2-3-5) in 11 games with the Islanders along with two assists in six appearances for the Kraken. He also suited up in 38 games with the AHL’s Bridgeport Islanders last season and posted 37 points (14-23-37) and eight penalty minutes, in addition to 10 points (3-7-10) in six Calder Cup playoff games. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Boston Bruins on March 31, 2015, Czarnik has played in parts of seven NHL seasons with the Bruins, Calgary Flames, Islanders, Kraken and Red Wings, totaling 46 points (16-30-46) and 20 penalty minutes in 146 games since 2016-17. He has also compiled 239 points (87-152-239), a plus-25 rating and 90 penalty minutes in 239 AHL games with the Providence Bruins, Stockton Heat, Islanders and Griffins. Czarnik paced all AHL rookies with 61 points (20-41-61) in 68 games during the 2015-16 season and went on to represent Providence at the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic.
A native of Washington Township, Mich., Czarnik played four seasons at Miami University from 2011-15 prior to turning professional, serving as team captain during his junior and senior years. Czarnik accumulated 169 points (46-123-169), a plus-50 rating and 119 penalty minutes in 159 games and was a Hobey Baker Award finalist as a sophomore in 2012-13. Before joining the RedHawks, Czarnik spent the 2010-11 season with the United States Hockey League’s Green Bay Gamblers, posting 34 points (20-14-34) and 33 penalty minutes in 46 contests. He previously skated with the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2008-10. On the international stage, Czarnik represented the United States at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, notching four points (2-2-4) in six games. Czarnik earned a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship after recording six points (5-1-6) and a plus-seven rating in seven games, and also won a bronze medal at the 2009 World Under-17 Challenge after collecting four points (1-3-4) in five appearances.
Bertuzzi missed a month from October 15th when he broke his right hand blocking a shot. In last night’s shootout loss to the Sabres, he appears to have injured lefty.
Bert had been back for all of seven games between stints on IR. He had three points during that stint and… was not playing up to his expected production.
Czarnik replaces the roster spot, but won’t be playing as high in the lineup as Bertuzzi was. Likely we’ll see Jonatan Berggren trusted with space higher in the lineup, but Pius Suter or Joe Veleno also make candidates. Whichever two of those three don’t earn Lalonde’s blessing will get to skate with Czarnik, who I like.