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Top 11 players at Traverse City tournament

Blue Jackets prospect Pierre-Luc Dubois among those who impressed

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Forward Julien Gauthier scored two goals and goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic made 31 saves to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 6-4 victory against the Detroit Red Wings in the championship game of the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup at Centre Ice Arena on Tuesday.

Gauthier, chosen No. 21 in the 2016 NHL Draft, scored twice in the second period when the Hurricanes scored three unanswered goals to take a 5-1 lead. Carolina won the championship for the second time and its first since its tournament debut in 2009. 

The Hurricanes (4-0-0) outscored the opposition 20-12. Former NHL defenseman Ulf Samuelsson, coach of Charlotte of the American Hockey League, talked about momentum and gaining the early lead.

"It was a good group of guys; a lot of talented scorers," Samuelsson said. "We took advantage of open-ice opportunities. Scoring early was a big boost for our team and Alex made some good saves in the end."

Forwards Steven Lorentz (2015 draft, No. 186), Andrew Poturalski (free agent signee) and Hudson Elynuik (2016, No. 74), and defenseman Jake Bean (2016, No. 13), also scored for the Hurricanes. Forward Tyler Bertuzzi (2013, No. 58) scored twice, and Zach Nastasiuk (2013, No. 48) and Dominic Turgeon (2014, No. 63) had one each for the Red Wings (2-2-0). 

Nedeljkovic (2014, No. 37) made 15 saves in the second period.

Here's a look at's top 11 players from the 2016 tournament (listed alphabetically):

Tyler Bertuzzi, LW, Detroit Red Wings: The 6-1, 190-pound left wing had four goals, five points, a plus-1 rating and 17 shots on goal in four games for the runner-up. He enjoys playing physical and getting in the face of his opponent, but has vowed to become a more all-around player and showed flashes of that in the tournament.

Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, Columbus Blue Jackets: The No. 3 pick in the 2016 draft came as advertised. He showed great speed, strength and refused to be pushed around. Dubois (6-2, 207) had one goal, five points, a plus-4 rating and six shots to help the Blue Jackets take third place.

Luke Johnson, C, Chicago Blackhawks: The right-shot center, chosen in the fifth round (No. 134) of the 2013 draft, had 11 goals and 21 points for the NCAA national champion University of North Dakota. He had one goal and 11 shots in four games. Johnson (5-11, 198) had five power-play goals, and led North Dakota in faceoff percentage (54.9 percent), faceoff wins (394) and faceoff attempts (718).

Roland McKeown, D, Carolina Hurricanes: Carolina acquired the 6-1, 195-pound right-shot defenseman and a draft pick from the Los Angeles Kings in a trade for defenseman Andrej Sekera on Feb. 25, 2015. He was steady and consistent along the blue line, finishing with three points, a plus-7 rating and 10 shots in four games. McKeown will play for Charlotte this season.

Adam Musil, C, St. Louis Blues: Musil (6-3, 196) was selected by the Blues in the fourth round (No. 94) of the 2015 draft and signed to a three-year entry-level contract on March 30. He had two goals, a plus-1 rating and 15 shots in four games for the sixth-place Blues. Chicago (AHL) coach Craig Berube said Musil is a "well-balanced player with great size who plays both ends of the ice."

Cristoval Nieves, C, New York Rangers: Nieves (6-3, 210) did a little bit of everything and was quick and strong in all three zones. He had one goal, three points and six shots in three-plus games. Nieves sustained an upper-body injury in the first period of the third-place game Tuesday and was unable to play the final two periods. He's set to begin his first full season in Hartford (AHL) after spending four seasons at the University of Michigan.

Devin Shore, C, Dallas Stars: Shore (6-1, 205), captain for the Stars, had two goals, four points and 11 shots in four games. He had a six-game goal streak and a 10-game point streak for Texas (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. Selected in the second round (No. 61) of the 2012 draft, Shore could see significant time in Dallas this season.

Jordan Schmaltz, D, St. Louis Blues: Schmaltz (2012, No. 25) was one of the steadiest and most consistent defenders of the tournament, finishing with one goal, two points and six shots in four games while serving as captain. Schmaltz (6-2, 192) left a solid impression in his first season with Chicago in the AHL, scoring six goals and 36 points in 71 games in 2015-16, after three seasons at the University of North Dakota.

Alex Tuch, RW, Minnesota Wild: Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher is happy to see Tuch (2014 draft, No. 18) growing as a player. He's a 6-4, 222-pound forward with good hands and hockey sense, and those talents were on display in Traverse City. He had two goals and three points, and led the Wild with 18 shots in four games. He was even involved in the first fight of his career. "When he plays big he's usually pretty effective," Fletcher said. "Not many defenders, particularly at this level, can handle that combination of size and skill."

Jimmy Vesey, LW, New York Rangers: Vesey (6-3, 203) led all tournament scorers with five goals and 20 shots, and finished with seven points and a plus-1 rating in four games for the fourth-place Rangers. He has the speed and smarts and wasn't a bit intimidated when pushed to the limit in certain situations. Vesey consistently drove the net, an indication that he will do anything to create a scoring chance in the key areas.

Zach Werenski, D, Columbus Blue Jackets: A lower-body injury limited Werenski to two games but he was still dominant, cool and collected when on the ice. After generating no points, no shots and a minus-1 rating in a 6-4 loss to the Red Wings on Friday, the 6-2, 209-pound left-handed shot had one goal and a plus-3 rating in a 4-1 win against the Blues on Saturday. Werenski will play for Cleveland (AHL) if he doesn't earn a roster spot in the NHL out of training camp.

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