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Already? Red Wings prospect tournament dates finalized

The Detroit Red Wings will be holding training camp in Traverse City, MI next September 17th-20th, and RedWingsCentral’s Sarah Lindenau, writing on her Left Wing Lock blog, reports that the Wings and Centre Ice Arena have firmed up dates for the prospect tournament as well:

The 2011 NHL Prospects tournament has been finalized and can be viewed here. This years tournament will run from September 10th through September 14th. Tickets to all games can be purchased on site and are $10 for the day.

The tournament has had nearly 300 players make the NHL including 2011 Calder trophy nominee Jeff Skinner. This year’s tournament will feature teams from Detroit, Buffalo, Carolina, Columbus, Dallas, Minnesota, New York, and St. Louis. The Tampa Bay Lightning were originally slated to return to the tournament but dropped out and were replaced by newcomer Buffalo. Stay tuned to the Left Wing Lock for details as they become available.

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SYF's avatar

“Already?” indeed, George.

With that many teams now currently slated to attend, it’s quickly becoming a must-attend hockey tournament after the WJCs, IMHO.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 04/28/11 at 04:52 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

The Tampa Bay Lightning were originally slated to return to the tournament but dropped out

Thats’ odd. I wonder why that is.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 04/28/11 at 05:04 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

I loved going to this.

I went to some of the first tournaments back in 2000 and 2001.  I remember sitting in the stands and talking to one of the prospect’s parents.  I forget who the player was.  Some defensemen on Atlanta I think, who never really made it.  It was great talking to the parents and they couldn’t understand why me and my friend were even there.

In fact,  I was digging through some old emails and found some of my impressions from the 2001 tournament.  A friend and I went up there for a few days to watch some games. It was an absolute blast. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to make it back there since. This year all of the games are during the week, so a weekend trip up north wont work.

This is unedited. And, I have to say, over all my impressions of players doesn’t seem any less random than any NHL scout seems to be able to formulate, though these are all guys who have already been drafted or invited as free agents.

2001…

The Wings Prospect team has just finished their third, and best, game of
the prospect tournament here in Traverse City. The team looked really
sharp tonight, downing the St. Louis Blues 4-1. Pavel Datsyuk dominated
the game tonight. He was in the middle of everything. He intercepted
countless number of passes (St. Louis really had a hard time getting out
of their own zone in this game) and made a number of great, shifty little
plays to get around opposing players. I think he had two assists and
created a number of good scoring chances. He did not seem to shy away
from the physical side of the game. I dont’t know if he’s ready for the
NHL, but he’s easily been one of the most impressive prospects throughout the tournament this far, on any team.

Besides Datsyuk’s dominance in tonight’s game, Chad LaRose looked very
good, using his speed to score two goals. Groulx got a power-play goal on
a nice shot from the point. And Greg Jacina got a nice looking goal
thanks to a great pass from Datsyuk.

The game also turned out to be a physical affair as well. Forward Jason
Baird fought Brett Lutes four seconds into the second period (it looked
like Lutes tripped him right before the face-off and Baird was ticked).
Ryan Barnes fought Brent Scheffelmeir along the boards. Barnes handled
himself ok against the 6’6” monster that is Scheffelmeir. During that
fight, Brad Voth and Wings’ defensemen Jeff Feniak went at it. Feniak
getting the worse of the exchange. Ryan Barnes fought Craig Weller near
the end of the game and did quite well it seemed. All in all it was a
good, intense game which was more or less dominated by the Wings.
Several players of note (other than Datsyuk) include…
Chad LaRose (winger). This kid got two goals tonight. He has some great
wheels and a decent scoring touch. He’s a bit undersized, but seems to
have a good motor and played very well along side Datsyuk. He could
develope into a speedy-grinding type of player.

Paul Ballantyne (D). He’s looked really good out there so far. He
definitely seems to want to do it all: score, play soild defense, etc.
Because of this, he has gotten caught out of position a number of times,
but has made some spectacular defensive plays as a result (hurrying back
to break up two on ones or foil a break away, etc.) He has decent size
and seems to make smart plays. He looked good last year, but has clearly
been one of the Wings’ best players in this year’s tournament and by far
their best d-man.

Steve Groulx (D). He’s played pretty well. He has a nice offensive
upside and plays with a bit of an edge. He’s been manning the point (with
Ballantyne) on Detroit’s number one power-play unit. He’s had some
defensive lapses and tends to get caught out of position a few times. He
got a nice power-play goal from the point in tonight’s game.

Ryan Barnes (Winger). He’s been decent. He got a goal in the first game.
Definitely a grinder. He has good physical upside and has dropped the
gloves a couple of times so far. He has made some good hits and is strong
in front of the net.

Tomas Kopecky (Winger). He’s a tall rangy kid. He was great in last
year’s tourney, but hasn’t shown much this year. He had one nice goal in
the first game, but he’s been pretty invisible save that.

Brian McGrattan (Winger). While he has pretty much no chance making the team, I have to mention him. He’s a big, physical winger who backs down from no one. He’s gone up against each team’s “goon” in each game and those are some big fellas. He almost scored a goal tonight. He doesn’t
skate all that well, but has made a number of big hits. He knocked one of
the St. Louis players unconcious right as the buzzer sounded at the end of the game. Mean Streak? Oh yes.

Drew McIntyre (Goalie). He played in Detroit’s first game. He looked
really shaky. He couldn’t handle rebounds and let a couple of bad goals
in. Nick Pannoni (goalie) another of Detroit’s draft picks this year
played pretty well tonight against St. Louis. He wasn’t tested too much,
as Detroit dominated most of the play, but he was solid when called upon.
Other highlights from the tournament:

Atlanta:
Ilya Kovalchuk has looked good, but hasn’t put points on the board. He’s
the fastest player here and has some great moves, but I am not sure if
he’s trying to do too much on his own or what, but he’s been all flash and
no show on what looked to be a highly talented Atlanta squad. Danny Heatley has looked pretty good, but Atlanta, at 0-2, has been the disappointment of the tourney. Libor Usturnul, a big defensemen playing for the Plymouth Whalers now, has also looked pretty good.

St. Louis:
Tonight they looked god AWFUL. They are 2-1 in the tournament. Forward
Jay McClement (their 2nd round pick) has looked very good. They also have a giant back on the blueline, Brent Scheffelmeir, who has played decently. He has great size and has played pretty physical, strong along the boards, good hits, some fights, so far. He’s definitely a few years away, but may have a future. Brad Voth, a big forward, who was here last year looks to be one of the most improved player here. He seems to be skating well and has made some big hits. He put the beat-down on Wings’ defensemen Jeff Feniak tonight.

Nashville:
I haven’t had a chance to watch too much of this team. Their games have
always been opposite Detroit’s. I should get a decent look tomorrow.

Minnesota:
Winger Kyle Wanvig looks like the real deal. Toronto really lost out when
their fax machine broke down at the deadline. He’s got good size, a mean
streak, some good speed, and good hands. The Wings couldn’t contain him
during their game against Minnesota. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see
Wanvig in the NHL either this year or next, especially considering
Minnesota’s lack of skill upfront. Steve Velieux, a center, has looked
really good as well. He’s got some decent size and is a force along the
boards. Defensemen Travis Roche the “thinking man’s defenseman” has been solid. He’s the team’s Captain and has played like it, showing great
poise and a bit of an offensive touch. Derek Boogeard, a 6’6”, 250 lbs.
monster of a winger has been entertaining. He can’t skate, pass or shoot
really. He loves to try to hit, but he usually just crashes into the
boards (much like a young Keith Primeau). Against St. Louis he went to
check a defenseman along the boards. The defenseman ducked and Boogaard shattered the glass and went flying out of the rink onto the floor below.

Columbus:
It’s tough to figure out who is who as the roster in the program is all
wrong and they don’t have names on their jerseys. Kiel McLeod (a big
rangy centerman) who was taken in the second round last year has looked
really good. He’s solid on his skates and has scored a few goals. He
could have a future in a few years in the NHL. Trevor Ettinger, like Brad
Voth of St. Louis, is a big tough kid who has showed signs of improvement.

He’s moving better this year and has had some good hits, but like other
big fellas, he’s looking to make it into the NHL via his fists. It’s a
dying role, really, but still has a place on some teams.

As for Datsyuk. He has looked very good. He’s a shifty play-maker who
has seems to have good hockey sense. He was always in passing lanes and interdcepted a number of passes which led to good scoringe chances. He was also very good in traffic. Will he be the next Fedorov? Yzerman? I
really don’t think so. He seems to be more of a play-maker than a
goal-scorer and lacks size and some speed. He could be a decent second or third line center some day though.

Barnes wont be able to replace LaPointe. He’s no where near as strong as
Marty is and doesn’t have that blistering shot He is definitely a hustler
and grinder and has a good physical edge, but I wouldn’t look for him to
score 20 goals in a season. He is a bit undisciplined and has had
concussion problems in the past.

Other Notes:

Ilya Kovalchuk and Dan Heatly looked /very/ good for Atlanta today. I
wouldn’t be surprised to see both of them in the NHL at some time this
year.

Detroit will play either Minnesota, Atlanta or Nashville tomorrow for
either fifth or third place. I am not sure how it all works, but Columbus
is 3-0, St. Louis is 2-1, and Atlanta, Nashville, Minnesota and Detroit
are all 1-2.

Posted by Ajax19 on 04/28/11 at 05:05 PM ET

SYF's avatar

As for Datsyuk. He has looked very good. He’s a shifty play-maker who
has seems to have good hockey sense. He was always in passing lanes and interdcepted a number of passes which led to good scoringe chances. He was also very good in traffic. Will he be the next Fedorov? Yzerman? I
really don’t think so. He seems to be more of a play-maker than a
goal-scorer and lacks size and some speed. He could be a decent second or third line center some day though.

Posted by Ajax19 on 04/28/11 at 04:05 PM ET

Who’d-a thunk?  LOL

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 04/28/11 at 05:09 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Who’d-a thunk? 

Posted by SYF from

Yeah, I know, right?

Based on everything I said at the beginning of the email, I think I must have been trying to talk myself out of thinking he could really be that good.

Posted by Ajax19 on 04/28/11 at 05:19 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.