GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Friday signed forward and East Grand Rapids native Luke Glendening to a one-year, two-way contract.
Glendening’s stock soared during the Grand Rapids Griffins’ run to the 2013 Calder Cup championship, as he appeared in all 24 playoff games and ranked among both his team’s best and the AHL’s rookie leaders with six goals (T4th GR, 2nd AHL rookies), 10 assists (5th, 4th), 16 points (T3rd, T1st) and a plus-eight rating (3rd, T4th). His 16 points also tied for 6th overall in the AHL during the postseason.
The 24-year-old became the first player from Greater Grand Rapids ever signed by the Grand Rapids Griffins on June 19, 2012. He began the 2012-13 season with the Toledo Walleye, posting 21 points (14-7—21) in 27 games and earning a nod to play in the ECHL All-Star Game. Despite not returning to Toledo after his Dec. 17 recall to Grand Rapids, Glendening ended the season among the Walleye’s leaders in goals (T4th) and plus/minus (plus-13, T3rd).
During his AHL debut on Dec. 19 against Rochester at Van Andel Arena, Glendening scored the game’s first goal on his first shot during his first shift and was named First Star in a 4-2 win over the Americans. He eventually appeared in 51 regular season games for Grand Rapids, posting 26 points (8-18—26) and finishing fourth on the club with a plus-12 rating.
In 2011-12, Glendening capped off a successful collegiate career at the University of Michigan by tying a career-high with 21 points (10-11—21) in 41 games and reaching new career bests with 10 goals and a plus-18 rating. He signed an amateur tryout with the Providence Bruins at the conclusion of his senior year, skating in three AHL contests to close out the season.
In 165 career games with the Wolverines, Glendening totaled 70 points (31-39—70), a plus-57 rating and 122 penalty minutes, while earning several team and conference honors. After being named an alternate captain as a sophomore, he served as captain in his final two seasons, becoming the eighth player in school history to captain the team for multiple seasons.
As a senior, Glendening captured the CCHA Best Defensive Forward award, beating out Notre Dame product and Griffins teammate Riley Sheahan. He also received the team’s Howard Colby Award for sportsmanship in his junior and senior seasons.
Glendening earned a scholarship in each of his four years at Michigan after initially walking onto the team and winning the most improved player award in his first season. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound forward also received the University of Michigan’s Athletic Academic Achievement award and was named a National Strength and Conditioning Association All-American as a junior. That same season, he contributed to the Wolverines’ CCHA regular season championship and appearance in the NCAA Frozen Four title game.
A 2007 graduate of East Grand Rapids High School, Glendening played hockey, baseball and football for the Pioneers, helping the school win the first of five straight Division 3 football state championships in 2006.