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2016 NHL Prospect Tournament begins Sept. 16

by Kyle Kujawa / Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will host seven other NHL teams during the 2016 NHL Prospect Tournament at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Mich., from Friday, Sept. 16 to Tuesday, Sept. 20. Returning to northern Michigan for the 18th season, the eight-team tournament is comprised of the Red Wings, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues. Tickets for the tournament are still available for $10 per day, which covers four games, exclusively at Centre Ice Arena or online at www.centreice.org.

Twenty-four players who skated for the Red Wings during the 2015-16 season are alumni of the NHL Prospect Tournament: Justin Abdelkader, Joakim Andersson, Andreas Athanasiou, Pavel Datsyuk, Jonathan Ericsson, Landon Ferraro, Darren Helm, Jimmy Howard, Tomas Jurco, Jakub Kindl, Niklas Kronwall, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Alexey Marchenko, Petr Mrazek, Tomas Nosek, Gustav Nyquist, Xavier Ouellet, Teemu Pulkkinen, Kyle Quincey, Riley Sheahan, Brendan Smith, Tomas Tatar and Henrik Zetterberg. Since the tournament’s inception, a total of 522 players have moved on to play in at least one NHL game.

The tournament will divide the participating teams into two four-team divisions: the Gordie Howe Division (Chicago, Columbus, Detroit and St. Louis) and the Ted Lindsay Division (Carolina, Dallas, Minnesota and NY Rangers). Teams will play each opponent in their division in a round-robin format before a crossover on the final day of the tournament, capped off with the first-place finishers in each division meeting for the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup on Tuesday, Sept. 20. The tournament’s championship trophy was renamed last summer in honor of Wuest (pronounced WEEST), known for his work on the website CapGeek.com as well as his exclusive coverage and statistical archiving of the NHL Prospect Tournament on RedWingsCentral.com, spanning back to the inaugural tournament in 1998. Wuest passed away in March 2015 after succumbing to a two-year battle with colon cancer.

Columbus returns to Traverse City looking for a third-straight NHL Prospect Tournament championship. The Blue Jackets defeated the Red Wings, who captured their first-ever tournament title in 2013, in last year’s first-place game. A complete tournament schedule can be found below. The Red Wings will release a finalized roster at a later date.

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