DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings today released their 2019 NHL Prospect Tournament roster, a team consisting of 27 recent draft picks, free agent signees and tryouts who will battle against seven other NHL prospect teams for the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup from Friday, Sept. 6 to Tuesday, Sept. 10 at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Mich.
Detroit's roster is highlighted by its three most-recent first-round picks in forwards Filip Zadina (sixth overall, 2018) and Joe Veleno (30th overall, 2018) and defenseman Moritz Seider (sixth overall, 2019). In 2018-19, Zadina finished sixth overall in points for the Grand Rapids Griffins as the second-youngest player in the American Hockey League, also tallying one goal and two assists in nine games in his first NHL stint with the Red Wings. Veleno starred in his final season of major-junior hockey, racking up 104 points (42-62-104) in 59 games with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Drummondville Voltigeurs, posting the second-best points-per-game average (1.72) in the league and finishing as a finalist for QMJHL MVP, as well as a spot on the QMJHL First All-Star Team. Seider, who is one of three 2019 Red Wings draft picks attending the NHL Prospect Tournament, was the Deutsch Eishockey Liga Rookie of the Year and helped his club capture a league championship, while representing his country at the IIHF World Junior Championship Division 1 and the IIHF World Championship, becoming the first defenseman aged 18-or-younger to record a point during the tournament since 1982.
Also highlighting Detroit's roster are a number of collegiate players entering their first full professional seasons after starring at the NCAA level. Taro Hirose tied for the NCAA scoring lead with Michigan State and made an immediate NHL impact for Detroit, picking up seven points (1-6-7) in 10 games. Ryan Kuffner also debuted with the Red Wings after finishing his career at Princeton University as the school's all-time leading goalscorer. Chase Pearson, a 2015 fifth-round pick of Detroit, had a taste of professional hockey after signing with the Red Wings following his junior season at Maine, where he served as a captain for back-to-back seasons.
Other roster highlights include right wing Givani Smith, a second-round pick (46th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft who joins Zadina in returning to the NHL Prospect Tournament after spending a full season in Grand Rapids; defenseman Gustav Lindstrom, who is slated to play in North America this season after capturing a championship in the Swedish Hockey League with Frolunda in 2018-19; a pair of 2019 Swedish sixth-round picks in 6-foot-7 forward Elmer Soderblom and defenseman Gustav Berglund; and Kaden Fulcher, a former free agent invitee who earned a contract with the Red Wings prior to the 2017-18 season after a strong showing at the team's development camp and training camp and made his NHL debut in a relief appearance in Detroit's 2018-19 regular-season finale.
Twenty-three players who skated for the Red Wings during the 2018-19 season previously participated in the tournament, while 639 total players have played in the tournament and moved on to skate in at least one NHL game during its 20-year history. Prospects from the Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs will also be competing in this year's tournament.
Tickets are available for $10 per day and can be purchased at Centre Ice Arena or at www.centreice.org. Each ticket is good for all four games per day. Teams are divided into two divisions and will play each team within their division once during the round robin before a crossover on the final day of the tournament, with the first-place finishers in each division meeting for the championship on Tuesday, Sept. 10. For more information and a complete tournament schedule, visit www.centreice.org.
Full 2019 Prospect Tournament Roster