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Players of note from Penticton

Thursday, 09.15.2011 / 10:48 PM

By Ryan Pinder - NHL.com Correspondent / Prospecting the future

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Prospecting the future
Players of note from Penticton
After eight games in five days, the Young Stars Tournament has come to a conclusion in Penticton, B.C. The Canucks, Flames, Jets, Oilers and Sharks prospects have returned home to resume their training camps, but the scouts and coaches will continue to buzz over the performances of the prospects for quite some time. Here are some of the names that were catalysts of conversation in Penticton. Not a list of the best players, but rather a list of those who impressed as compared to their expectations.

FLAMES

Maxwell Reinhart, C -- Offensively involved and responsible at both ends of the rink, Reinhart showed he's got a bright future as a pro.

Patrick Holland, RW -- A 2010 seventh-round pick, Holland has been productive and responsible.

Sven Baertschi, LW -- Electric is the word Flames coaches have been using to describe the slick Swiss forward who starred last season with Portland of the Western Hockey League. He was especially dangerous with time and space, and on the power play.

OILERS

Tyler Bunz, G -- The netminder is determined to get off to a great start this season and earn a spot on Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship. He had an impressive shutout of the Jets during the tournament.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C -- The first pick of the 2011 Entry Draft has produced points, but also has gotten involved physically -- an encouraging sign for Oilers fans hoping he can make the jump to the NHL this season.

Anton Lander, C -- The Swedish-born center led the Oilers with 3 goals in the tournament. He's yet another skilled forward in the Oilers' cupboard.

SHARKS

Thomas Heemskerk, G -- Heemskerk stood on his head in the Sharks' first game of the tournament, and didn't cool much after that. It was an impressive week of puck stopping.

Brodie Reid, RW -- Reid has scored everywhere he has played and didn't let San Jose down in Penticton, where he had played a season of hockey with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL. It was a sweet homecoming for the 22-year-old forward.

Benjamin Thomson, LW -- Hits? Check. Fight? Check. Goal? Check. He's been a physical player for the Sharks this week.

CANUCKS

Karel St. Laurent, G -- A 20-year-old QMJHL cast-off this time last season, St. Laurent was solid in net in all three appearances he made.

Nathan Longpre, C -- He posted sparkling numbers with Robert Morris University last season (42 points in 33 games), and nearly single-handedly sparked a comeback with 2 goals and an assist against Calgary.

Nicklas Jensen, LW -- Another 2011 first-round pick who didn't disappoint; Jensen showed skill, strength and offensive prowess.

JETS

Jason Gregoire, LW -- North Dakota alum and Winnipeg native has designs of making the big team this fall. He's not huge (6-foot-1, 196 pounds) but seemed comfortable in traffic. Created lots of opportunities in each game played. Nice hands.

Mark Scheifele, C --
The seventh pick of the 2011 Entry Draft looks legit. He's big (6-2, 184), skilled and has some eye-popping moves around the net. He scored with regularity during the tournament.

Edward Pasquale, G -- In 90 minutes of ice time, he didn't allow a goal. Not too shabby for a player who turns 21 in November and already has a season of professional hockey experience.
Quote of the Day

I came into a team that had 65 points, that was at the bottom of the basement, a team that everybody wrote off as never going to be good. My goal is to go from the very bottom to the very top.

— Forward Brandon Dubinsky on signing a six-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets