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Wings Encounter: Dominic Turgeon

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Dominic Turgeon had the best season of his amateur career in 2014-15, producing 18 goals and 43 points for WHL Portland. He'll compete in USA Hockey's development camp in August at Lake Placid, N.Y. (Photo by Getty Images)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Prospects like Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi have been heralded for months now as the Red Wings’ next group of up-and-coming NHL stars of the future.

But what young hopefuls are lining up behind them?

One name to certainly remember is Dominic Turgeon.

Turgeon, who was the Wings’ third-round pick last summer, is the 19-year-old son of former NHL all star Pierre Turgeon. Dominic’s uncle, Sylvain Turgeon, also starred in the NHL at the same time his younger brother was appearing in nearly 1,300 games for six different clubs.

Born in Montreal, but raised in Colorado, Dominic Turgeon returned to northern Michigan this month to participate in his second development camp hosted by the Wings’ minor-league coaches.

In May, coming off his third, and best statistical season in the Western Hockey League, Turgeon signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Wings, who like the escalating path his game has taken in little more than a year.

“I definitely think I progressed a lot last year,” Turgeon said. “We had another great team, another great season, but also individual I felt I had a great season.”

The left-handed shooting Turgeon had 18 goals and 43 points in 67 games with Portland last season. He also chipped in eight goals and one assist in 17 WHL playoff contests with the Winterhawks.

Turgeon’s improvements were measured by the marked differences he made to become a solid two-way center under new head coach Jamie Kompon and the Winterhawks’ staff, which included former Wings’ video coach, Keith McKittrick.

“Last year I was playing two way, I mean, he did rely on my offensive too. The year before that was major defensively, which I thought was big for my game,” Turgeon said. “But this year definitely will be a big jump for me and I’m going to have to produce offensively, but also be strong defensively.”

While becoming a two-way threat is important, Turgeon said he’ll look to balance his on-ice skills more in his final junior campaign.

“A big thing for me I’d say is a quicker release on my shot,” he said. “Obviously the pace of the game gets faster (at the next level), so obviously I want to get faster in that area, just my quickness in the game.

“This season, definitely produce more numbers and have a bigger role for sure. But I want to be a key guy who can play in all of the areas, and my coach can really rely on me with penalty kill, 5 on 3, power play. I really want to be a key guy.”

He’ll return to Portland this fall, but not before participating in next month’s USA national junior evaluation camp at Lake Placid, N.Y. Larkin is also expected to be at the camp.

“It’s an honor to be invited again,” Turgeon said. “I’m going to have to be ready for that too. There’s a lot of skill and talent there.”

Turgeon will also represent the Wings in the NHL Prospects Tournament, which will be held at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City in September.

Now, let’s get to know more about this 19-year-old prospect:

Dominic Turgeon

DOMINIC TURGEON

STATUS: Red Wings’ third-round pick in 2014 NHL draft. The son of former NHL star Pierre Turgeon and nephew of Sylvain Turgeon. The center will return this fall to the Portland Winterhawks for his fourth and final full WHL season.

DOB: February 25, 1996, in Montreal, Quebec.

FIRST HOCKEY MEMORY: “I guess my first hockey memory is just watching my dad play for the first time. When I was old enough to realize it? I don’t know, I was very young though. I went to my first game when I was a week or two weeks old.”

LAST BOOK READ: “I’m not a big reader, I haven’t read in a while.”

CURRENT CAR: “A 2009 black Jeep (Grand Cherokee) SRT8.”

FIRST JOB: “Well, I’ve never really had a job; it’s just always been hockey. (Consider it much of a job?) It can be, because everything revolves around hockey, I mean, the training and the way you eat.”

GREATEST SPORTS MOMENT: “I’ll have to say, for me, winning the WHL championship (in 2013) when I was 16.”

MOST PAINFUL MOMENT: “Definitely losing, two years ago, in Game 7 of the WHL finals to Edmonton. They went on to win the Memorial Cup that year.”

FAVORITE UNIFORMS: “To be honest, it’s the Detroit Red Wings. I’ve always loved their uniforms, even before you asked that question.”

FAVORITE ARENA: “That’s a tough one. I’ve watched a bunch in the Pepsi Center (in Denver). I haven’t been around too much. I’ve been to Montreal’s rink and that’s a very nice rink, too.”

CLOSEST HOCKEY FRIENDS: “I’m obviously very close to my dad. But Cale Morris is one of my greatest friends. He’s playing in Waterloo in the USHL right now.”

FUNNIEST HOCKEY PERSON KNOWN: “I’ll have to go with Ian Laperriere. (Why?) I don’t know, ever since I was a young age I grew up around him because of my dad and he would always clown around with me.”

TOUGHEST COMPETITORS FACED: “One of the hardest workers I’ve probably played against was Curtis Lazar. He’s a real tough player.”

MOST MEMORABLE GOAL: “I’ll have to say one of the goals from the playoffs this year. It was one of my nicer goals for sure, and we went on to win that game. (Which game?) I’m not even sure; it’s tough to remember.”

FUNNY HOCKEY MEMORY: “There are so many funny memories I’d have to say, honestly, all of the jokes that go around the locker room every day.”

FAVORITE PLAYERS TO WATCH: “One guy I’ve always enjoyed watching is Evgeni Malkin. I love watching Pavel Datsyuk play. I just love their skill level and the way they move and their skill levels at such high speeds is ridiculous.”

FAVORITE SPORT OUTSIDE HOCKEY: “I play a little golf here and there, but no too much. To be honest, my life is and always has been about hockey.”

PERSONALITY QUALITIES ADMIRED IN OTHERS: “Obviously, a great personality, a great person. Someone who is easy to talk to and have a great time with.”

FAVORITE MOVIE: “I’d say ‘Miracle’ for sure.”

IF NOT A HOCKEY PLAYER, WHAT: “That’s a tough question. If it wasn’t hockey I’d definitely want to do something athletic for sure. Definitely play another sport, but I’m not quite sure what it would be. (Golf?) It could be golf, I guess.”

HIDDEN TALENTS: “Everything I do is for hockey.”

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE: “I’m addicted to my Xbox. I love my Xbox. I play it – not all the time. In the summer I don’t touch it, but in season when I get board it’s a good downtime thing.”

PLANS FOR AFTER HOCKEY CAREER: “For me a big thing would be in the future a family for sure. Having a family would be a big thing for me.”

NICKNAME: “Most people just call me Dom or Turgs.”

PREFERRED JERSEY NUMBER: “I actually wear No. 23 in Portland and that is for my sister (Liz), who passed away. She wore 23 for USA, actually.”

OFF DAYS: “I’m big on relaxing. I like relaxing on my off days, but definitely hanging out with the guys for sure, whether it’s a round of golf or hanging around a pool or something like that.”

MOST FAMOUS PERSON IN PHONE: “Probably, I guess, it’s either Adam Foote or Joe Sakic. (Not your dad?) Or my dad, that’s right. I’ve had him in there for a while.”

FIRST THING PURCHASED AFTER SIGNING CONTRACT: “I actually went to Lululemon and bought a couple things there.”

GUILTY PLEASURES: “I like to pick up on a show and once I start a show I kinda stick with it, like ‘Sons of Anarchy’ or ‘Prison Break’ or something like that.”

ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO DO/HAVE BEFORE EVERY GAME: “I definitely have to tape my sticks that’s for sure. I’ve got to do my stretches on my own before my team stretch, and I guess a little soccer after the team stretch.”

MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL: “I’m not that much of a morning person to be honest with you. I struggle a little bit in the mornings, so I’ll definitely go with night.”

IF YOU COULD BE SOMEONE’S TEAMMATE FOR A DAY, WHO: “I guess I’ll have to go with Jonathan Toews, just to see his daily routine because he’s been such a leader since such a young age. It would be cool to see how he does what he does.”

GO BACK IN TIME MOMENT: “Definitely to see my sister.”

WHAT SCARES YOU: “I do not like snakes. That’s one big thing. I don’t like snakes, and drowning is another fear of mine. Those are two things that are a big no.”

MOST EMBARRASSING CHILDHOOD MOMENT: “I was in choir. We can go with that. I was in choir. I’m not a singer at all.”

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