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Notebook: Martin Brodeur gets to watch his son play

Goalie Jeremy Brodeur competing with Blue Jackets at Traverse City Prospects Tournament

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

The 18th Traverse City Prospects Tournament, hosted by the Detroit Red Wings, is taking place at Centre Ice Arena from Sept. 16-20. The Red Wings are competing in the Gordie Howe Division with the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues and defending champion Columbus Blue Jackets. The Ted Lindsay Division features the Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers. The eight-team tournament has become an annual preseason event for coaches, general managers and scouts to evaluate their prospects against their peers.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Please excuse St. Louis Blues assistant general manager Martin Brodeur if he had a confused look on his face during the Traverse City Prospects Tournament at Centre Ice Arena on Saturday.

The reason was because Jeremy Brodeur, his 19-year-old son, was the starting goaltender for the opposing Columbus Blue Jackets. He was invited by the Blue Jackets as a free agent to compete in Traverse City. He attended their development camp in June.

"What are the odds," Martin Brodeur said. "For sure, I'm holding my breath. I don't want him to get scored on. Hey, it's just one game, it doesn't matter. I was rooting for everyone to do well, actually. I was hoping for a 0-0 tie. That would have been great."

With Martin watching closely from the bleacher section of the arena, Jeremy made 27 saves in a 4-1 win. His shutout bid ended with 3:31 left when Blues defenseman Dmitrii Sergeev scored on a breakaway.

"I usually talk to mom and dad after every game, but this is a little different because I was playing my dad's team," Jeremy said with a grin. "I knew dad was watching, but I tried not to look up (where he was standing). But it happens, I guess.

"My end goal is to someday play pro hockey, so I want to show people here that I have potential."

Jeremy has spent the past two seasons in Oshawa of the Ontario Hockey League, where he is 37-26-7 with a 2.78 goals-against average and .904 save percentage.

Martin Brodeur is the NHL's all-time regular season leader in wins (691), shutouts (125), games played (1,266) and minutes played (74,438). In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he ranks first in starts (204) and shutouts (24), and second in wins (113), and won the Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

Brodeur retired after 21 NHL seasons and was hired by the Blues as assistant GM on May 20, 2015.

"These are special moments as a parent," Martin Brodeur said. "It just so happens that he's playing against the team I work for. You want your son to do well, regardless of who he's playing against. This is a rookie tournament where you get to see your prospects. For me, it's fun to see him doing his thing for an organization that I have nothing to do with, so for me it's even better because he's doing this on his own."

Anthony Brodeur, Martin's 21-year-old son, will play for the University of Ottawa in 2016-17. He was New Jersey's seventh-round pick (No. 208) at the 2013 NHL Draft.

"We always grew up around hockey," Jeremy said. "I started out as a forward and after scoring one goal in one season, [I] said I'm playing goalie and have played ever since."

HURRICANE WARNING: Carolina Hurricanes defense prospect Haydn Fleury was thrilled when the Hurricanes selected defenseman Jake Bean with the No. 13 choice in the 2016 draft.

"I played against [Bean] about seven times a year (in the Western Hockey League) and it seemed like he had seven goals," Fleury said. "He's a good player, skilled offensively, and playing with him on the power play is awesome because he's always making plays. He makes my job easier."

Each prospect has been making an impression on defense this week. Fleury, who played four seasons for Red Deer in the WHL, is preparing for his first full pro season with Charlotte of the American Hockey League.

The 20-year-old wants to become more of threat on offense.

"I need to get more of my shots through, and keep working hard defensively and boxing out guys," he said. "Boxing out is a big thing in today's game because you don't want to give guys opportunities down low and in front of the net."

Unless he proves otherwise, Bean (6-foot-1, 173 pounds) will likely return for a third season in Calgary. They are two of several strong young defensemen who are sure to be part of the Hurricanes' future and eventually join a young stable that includes Noah Hanifin, Jaccob Slavin, Justin Faulk and Ryan Murphy.

"We've got a lot of good prospects, and some very good young players already on the big club," Fleury said. "It's fun to play with guys like Bean and Roland McKeown; guys who make plays and understand the game. We're really on the same page and we don't want to give away the puck."

RED WINGS HIRE HORCOFF: The Detroit Red Wings announced Friday that former NHL player Shawn Horcoff was hired as director of player development. Jiri Fischer, who had held that position, will transition to a new role in player evaluation.

Horcoff, who played 15 seasons (1,008 games) and scored 186 goals and 511 points for the Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks, is looking forward to his new role. He is in Traverse City watching the Red Wings' prospects.

"I've been a first-line center, fourth-line left wing, have had great years and terrible years and I've played in Edmonton under big media scrutiny and a lot of stress, so there's really no situation that I won't be able to relate to with these young players," Horcoff said. "I'm going to provide in my mind a lot of what I wish I would have had when I was younger. I want these kids to come to me with anything they want and really just want to help them through those tough times."

Horcoff served as captain of the Oilers for three seasons. He played four seasons at Michigan State University and was Edmonton's fourth-round selection (No. 99) in the 1998 draft. He has lived with his wife and their three children in Birmingham, Michigan, for the past 10 years.

"I always wanted to work in management and wanted to be on the other side, kind of help kids because that was something I really took pride in as a player," Horcoff said. "This was a great opportunity for me when it came up and I was approached in July. When I started thinking about it, I thought it would be the perfect situation."

CAPTAIN BLUESHIRT: New York Rangers forward prospect Cristoval "Boo" Nieves is proud to be serving as captain during the Traverse City tournament.

"I feel like I've been part of this organization for a very long time now, and to wear the 'C' with all these guys I've known the last few development camps is pretty cool," Nieves said.

Nieves has centered the top line in the opening two games alongside left wing Jimmy Vesey (free agent signee). Pavel Buchnevich (2013 draft, No. 75) and Ty Ronning (2016, No. 201) have split time at right wing.

"I think a lot of my skating improvement came this summer when I had a skating coach work with me," Nieves said. "I changed my workout and my whole diet, and feel like I gained a lot of strength. It's starting to show on the ice. I was in the gym every single day. I think I started the summer at around 208 pounds and now I'm 220 pounds, so I definitely put on a lot of weight and strength."

Rangers director of player personnel Gordie Clark has been very pleased with Nieves' development.

"He's a monster; we've been waiting for his body to pop," Clark said. "He's always been in great shape, but he's really put on proper weight in the upper body. It's also really awesome that we have a center in our prospect pool who wins a lot of faceoffs. He's got to be over 60 percent this tournament."

Nieves, picked in the second round (No. 59) of the 2012 draft, will begin his first full season with Hartford of the AHL. In four seasons at the University of Michigan, he had 28 goals and 109 points in 144 games.

"Being in college four years allowed me to learn the game and develop offensively, and more importantly, defensively," he said. "Obviously you want to become stronger and bigger. The first thing the Rangers said to me after drafting me was to return to Michigan and become a man, and then come to us when you're ready. That's what I've done."

A SHORE THING: Dallas Stars forward prospect Devin Shore has the makeup required to one day become a special player in the NHL.

There's a chance that time may arrive sooner rather than later.

Shore, 22, had a six-game goal streak and a 10-game point streak for Texas in the AHL last season and made his NHL debut at the Boston Bruins on Nov. 3, 2015 before a shoulder injury in December cut his season short. He had 26 points through 23 games with Texas.

Shore is excited to be back and centering the top line with Remi Elie (2013, No. 40) and Cole Ully (2013, No. 131) in this tournament.

"I was fortunate enough to get three games last year in Dallas in November, and that was a learning process for sure," Shore said. "If I'm fortunate enough for that to happen this year, I think that will only help my confidence. I think I got better this summer, so I'm going into training camp with an open mind and hopefully make it tough on the Dallas management to return me to Texas."

Shore (6-1, 205) was selected in the second round (No. 61) of the 2012 draft.

"Devin reminds me of Curtis Lazar, a player I had with the Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)," Texas coach Derek Laxdal said. "He's a kid that has a passion for the game. Every time he walks into the dressing room, he brings an energy and he respects what he has and understands you have to work hard for what you get.

"He can play the wing or middle and he competes. He's not a guy who will run somebody, but he's hard on the puck and he competes, skates well and has a head for the game."

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