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Top draft picks to grace Traverse City Tournament

by Mike G. Morreale

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- It's no surprise that each of the eight teams headed to the Traverse City Prospect Tournament, which begins Friday, will be fielding impressive lineups.

The Buffalo Sabres will showcase 10 players selected in either the first or second round during the past four years, the Dallas Stars  will have eight and the defending tournament champion Detroit Red Wings will feature five from the past four.

The ultimate goal is to be presented the first-place plaque to take home and have a permanent trophy displayed year-round at the Centre ICE Arena in Traverse City, Mich., as the tournament champion.

In 2013, Detroit Red Wings right wing Anthony Mantha, a 2013 first-round pick (No. 20), had two goals and one assist, and goalie Jared Coreau, a free-agent signee from Northern Michigan University, made 23 saves to lead the Red Wings to a 4-2 victory against the Buffalo Sabres in the championship game. Mantha will be on the ice for the Red Wings this year as well.

Forward Kevin Hayes, who signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers on Aug. 20, will receive plenty of attention at the tournament. Drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round (No. 24) of the 2010 draft, Hayes was second in NCAA hockey with 65 points at Boston College last season.

Here's a list of first- and second-round draft picks scheduled to participate in the Traverse City tournament:

Gordie Howe Division

Columbus Blue Jackets: Forwards Alexander Wennberg (2013, No. 14), Kerby Rychel (2013, No. 19), Marko Dano (2013, No. 27) and Sonny Milano (2014, No. 16); defenseman Dillon Heatherington (2013, No. 50); goaltender Oscar Dansk (2012, No. 31).

Detroit Red Wings: Forwards Anthony Mantha (2013, No. 20), Martin Frk (2012, No. 49), Tyler Bertuzzi (2013, No. 58) and Zach Nastasiuk (2013, No. 48); defenseman Ryan Sproul (2011, No. 55).

Minnesota Wild: Forward Raphael Bussieres (2012, No. 46); defensemen Matt Dumba (2012, No. 7) and Gustav Olofsson (2013, No. 46).

St. Louis Blues: Forwards Robby Fabbri (2014, No. 21), Ivan Barbashev (2014, No. 33); defensemen Joel Edmundson (2011, No. 46) and Thomas Vannelli (2013, No. 47).

Ted Lindsay Division

Dallas Stars: Forwards Brett Ritchie (2011, No. 44), Radek Faksa (2012, No. 13), Jason Dickinson (2013, No. 29), Brett Pollock (2014, No. 45), Remi Elie (2013, No. 40); defensemen Julius Honka (2014, No. 14), Ludwig Bystrom (2012, No. 43); goaltender Philippe Desrosiers (2013, No. 54).

Buffalo Sabres: Forwards Joel Armia (2011, No. 16), William Carrier (2013, No. 57, St. Louis Blues, acquired in trade), Vaclav Karabacek (2014, No. 49), Justin Bailey (2013, No. 52), Eric Cornell (2014, No. 44), Brendan Lemieux (2014, No. 31) and Sam Reinhart (2014, No. 2); defensemen Jake McCabe (2012, No. 44), Rasmus Ristolainen (2013, No. 8) and Nikita Zadorov (2013, No. 16).

Carolina Hurricanes: Forwards Phillip Di Giuseppe (2012, No. 38), Victor Rask (2011, No. 42) and Brock McGinn (2012, No. 47); defenseman Haydn Fleury (2014, No. 7); goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (2014, No. 37).

New York Rangers: Forward Kevin Hayes (2010, No. 24, Chicago Blackhawks, acquired as free agent); goaltender Brandon Halverson (2014, No. 59).

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