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Russian prospects hope for success at Traverse City

Sunday, 09.13.2015 / 10:52 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Detroit Red Wings prospect Evgeny Svechnikov should note that Pavel Datsyuk made his Red Wings debut at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament.

Svechnikov, a first-round pick (No. 19) in the 2015 NHL Draft, is hoping he can follow in the footsteps of Datsyuk by making a lasting impression to a successful NHL career.

As one of three high-profile Russian players participating in the tournament this week at Centre Ice Arena, Svechnikov is excited to be wearing the winged wheel and catching up with friends and fellow countrymen Ivan Barbashev (2014 draft, No. 33) of the St. Louis Blues and Sergey Tolchinsky (undrafted free agent) of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Eichel gets assist for Sabres in tournament debut

Saturday, 09.12.2015 / 11:17 PM / Prospects

Joe Yerdon - Correspondent

BUFFALO -- It didn't take long for Buffalo Sabres rookie Jack Eichel to make a good impression at the Buffalo Sabres Prospects Challenge.

Eichel, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, assisted Nicholas Baptiste on a 2-on-1 break 25 seconds into the first period for the first of Baptiste's two goals, and the Sabres defeated the New Jersey Devils 6-2 at First Niagara Center on Saturday.

Eichel was sprung on the break after a backhand pass from former Boston University teammate Evan Rodrigues out of the defensive zone. Eichel carried the puck up the left wing and floated a pass behind Devils defenseman Reece Scarlett to Baptiste, who shot past goalie Mackenzie Blackwood.

"I knew I had a step on the guy that [Rodrigues] had chipped it by," Eichel said. "I saw the other [defenseman] and I wasn't sure if it was more of a breakaway or a 2-on-1 and it ended up being more of a 2-on-0, so [Baptiste] did a good job to drive the net and find the back of the net."

News, notes from Traverse City Tournament

Saturday, 09.12.2015 / 10:52 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Carolina Hurricanes prospect Sergey Tolchinsky is a big fan of 3-on-3 hockey.

The 5-foot-8, 170-pound wing proved it Saturday when he utilized all the space given in scoring the game-winner 2:56 into overtime to give the Hurricanes a 5-4 victory against the Dallas Stars prospects at the Traverse City Tournament.

"I think 3-on-3 is fun," Tolchinsky, 20, said. "There's a lot of room and you can show your skill. You have more time to think and see the situation. There's a lot of room and you can do whatever you want."

Hurricanes defense prospect Haydn Fleury, a first-round pick (No. 7) in the 2014 NHL Draft, assisted on Tolchinsky's winner. He believes NHL fans will enjoy 3-on-3 hockey.

Oilers forward Draisaitl aims for full-time NHL role

Saturday, 09.12.2015 / 5:53 PM / Prospects

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

PENTICTON, British Columbia -- Leon Draisaitl is a year older, a year wiser, and a year further along in his development, but his goal remains the same.

The 19-year-old forward wants to become a full-time member of the Edmonton Oilers.

"It's the same mindset at last year," Draisaitl told at the Young Stars Classic tournament. "I want to establish myself as a full-time NHL player. That's my goal. That's what I worked for all summer. Putting in all this work, you don't do it for nothing. You want to make the team and then you want to impress people. That's what I'm here for."

Skjei eager for chance to crack Rangers defense corps

Saturday, 09.12.2015 / 10:54 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- New York Rangers prospect Brady Skjei knows it won't be easy to crack the opening-night roster out of training camp.

That doesn't mean the 21-year-old defenseman won't put his best foot forward in an attempt to realize his dream much sooner than later.

"Every guy coming into camp has the main goal of making the team and it'll be a challenge for sure but I'm going day by day," Skjei said. "If it happens, it happens and if not, I'll go to [the American Hockey League in Hartford] and work on my game there and see what happens."

McDavid scores in Oilers debut at Young Stars

Saturday, 09.12.2015 / 1:58 AM / Prospects

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

PENTICTON, British Columbia -- Connor McDavid made his first game for the Edmonton Oilers a memorable one.

McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, had a goal and an assist to help Edmonton to an 8-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks at the Young Stars Classic prospects tournament on Friday.

"It was all right," said McDavid, who had three shots and was plus-1. "I mean, I could've played better personally, but the team did a great job and we played a very good game for what was the first game of the year for a lot of guys, including myself. It's the first game all year."

Bennett bulked up looking to stay with Flames

Friday, 09.11.2015 / 7:23 PM / Prospects

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

PENTICTON, British Columbia -- Having one NHL game to his credit didn't hinder prospect Sam Bennett from turning in a solid performance for the Calgary Flames in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

He's now looking -- and looking for -- bigger.

The 19-year-old has added bulk to his 6-foot-1 frame in the hopes of a full-time stay with the Flames this season.

"I had a really good summer," Bennett said Friday as one of 31 Flames participating in the Young Stars Classic. "It's nice to have a full summer of training and working hard. I knew I had to get a little bit bigger in the offseason. I'm happy with the size that I came in with (about 190 pounds after playing at 175 last season). It was a really good summer and I'm excited to get going here."

DeAngelo hopes to earn roster spot with Lightning

Friday, 09.11.2015 / 6:57 PM / Prospects

Corey Long - Correspondent

BRANDON, Fla.-- Defenseman Anthony DeAngelo continues to be one of the most talked about prospects with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

A first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft (19th overall), DeAngelo is expected to begin his first season as a professional with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, but the 19-year-old from Sewell, N.J., hopes that a strong training camp gives the Lightning a harder decision to make.

Before training camp starts next week, DeAngelo will join 22 other Lightning prospects in a four-day tournament in Estero, Fla., that begins Saturday. Prospects from the Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals and Nashville Predators are also participating.

DeAngelo is looking at the tournament as a chance to make a quick first impression.

Blackhawks add intrigue to Traverse City tourney

Friday, 09.11.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Potential future stars of the Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks will make their debut in the 17th Traverse City prospects tournament here at the Centre Ice Arena from Sept. 11-15.

The five-day Traverse City prospects tournament is hosted by the Detroit Red Wings and precedes their training camp at the same location, beginning Sept. 18. The event, which began in 1998 with four teams and expanded to eight teams in 2006, has become an annual preseason staple for coaches, general managers and scouts to evaluate their prospects against their peers.

The addition of the Blackhawks is certain to create a lot of intrigue and excitement.

Tournaments could be next step to NHL for prospects

Thursday, 09.10.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

There's a strong chance a candidate for the 2016 Calder Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year will be among the many top prospects participating in various rookie tournaments throughout the League this week.

The rookie tournaments are becoming a staple for many teams prior to the start of training camp each season.

The oldest and largest is the eight-team Traverse City Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., which will be held Sept. 11-15. Now in its 17th year, the tournament features prospects from the host Detroit Red Wings, along with the Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes.

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