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Keith Gave's Northern Sports Desk

 

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July 11th, 2018

 

Red Wings will ice a roster loaded with talent in

20th annual Prospects Tournament in Traverse City

 

By KEITH GAVE

Sports Director

 

The future is nigh, or at least drawing closer. What seemed like heresy after years of playoff disappointment – including the past two seasons in which they didn’t even make the Stanley Cup tournament – the Detroit Red Wings finally appear to have the personnel power to approach relevance at the most important part of the hockey season.

 

Mark the dates – Sept. 7-11 – when several of those foundational performers, including three first-round draft picks from the past two seasons, will lead the Wings in the 2018 NHL Prospect Tournament that includes the best and the brightest from seven other NHL clubs as well.

 

For Detroit, that will include: last year’s top pick, 6-feet-7 center Mike Rasmussen, taken ninth overall in the 2017 draft; right wing Filip Zadina, selected sixth overall a few weeks ago; and center Joe Veleno, taken 30th overall in June with the first-round pick the Wings received from Las Vegas in the Tomas Tatar trade.

 

Read my lips: Don’t miss this opportunity. Simply stated, this is the best hockey you’ll find anywhere in the world at this time of year.

 

Unlike training camp, where even a top prospect can get lost or overwhelmed playing against grown men and NHL veterans, these young guys are competing against players similar in age and experience. It’s a time and place where general managers, coaches and scouts can best evaluate a player’s aptitude.

 

The 20th annual NHL Prospect Tournament will be held at the Centre Ice Arena and include the defending-champion Chicago Blackhawks, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues.

 

The tournament will be divided into two four-team divisions, and clubs will play each team in their division in a round-robin format before a crossover on the final day of the tournament. The first-place finishers in each division will meet for the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup on Tuesday, Sept. 11.

 

The tournament’s championship trophy was renamed in 2015 to honor Wuest, 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 died in March 2015 after succumbing to a two-year battle with colon cancer.

 

Over the tournament’s history, nearly 600 players have moved on to play in the NHL. Of the 30 players who competed for the Red Wings last year, 21 performed in this tournament early in

their careers, including Henrik Zetterberg, Nik Kronwall, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Justin Abdelkader, and Jimmy Howard.

 

Many of the players who represent the Wings in this tournament could see time in Detroit sooner than youngsters have made the jump in recent years. That speaks to both the talent of these kids as well as the Wings’ sense of urgency as they continue to build a team that can contend annually for a slot in the 16-team Stanley Cup playoff.

 

RED WINGS TRAINING CAMP

The 2018-19 Red Wings hit the ice for the first time the morning of Friday, Sept. 14, and continue daily through Tuesday, Sept. 18. Red Wings players, prospects and tryouts will be divided into teams that will practice and scrimmage throughout camp, including the annual Red and White Game on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 12 p.m.

 

Following the Red and White game, the team will remain in Traverse City and hold practices on Sept. 17-18 prior to breaking camp for Detroit to begin their preseason schedule at Little Caesars Arena on Wednesday, Sept. 19 vs. Pittsburgh.

 

RED WINGS ALUMNI VS. GUNS-N-HOSES

The Training Camp Alumni and Celebrity Game will also return for a sixth-consecutive season on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. in a new format from past seasons. This year, a team of Red Wings alumni will face off against Guns-n-Hoses, a team consisting of players from local Traverse City police and fire departments. Guns-n-Hoses is a non-profit organization created to assist individuals and families in need in the Grand Traverse community. Red Wings alumni and celebrities slated to participate include three members of “The Grind Line” in Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby and Darren McCarty; Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Mark Howe; and 2008 Stanley Cup champion and Traverse City resident Dallas Drake.

 

WE GOT TICKETS

Advance tickets for all September Red Wings events are available exclusively online this season at www.centreice.org/drwtickets, starting on Tuesday, July 24 at 10 a.m. They are sold first-come, first-served at the arena entrance on the day of each event.

 

Ticket prices are as follows:

* NHL Prospect Tournament (Sept. 7-11): $10 per day (general admission)

* Training Camp Practice (Friday, Sept. 14): $10 standing-room, $20 reserved seating or mezzanine

* Training Camp Practice (Saturday, Sept. 15): $15 standing-room, $25 reserved seating or mezzanine

* Alumni and Celebrity Game (Saturday, Sept. 15): $25 standing-room, $35 reserved seating

* Red and White Game (Sunday, Sept. 16): $20 standing-room, $35 reserved seating or mezzanine

 

Keith Gave’s best-selling new book, “The Russian Five, A story of espionage, defection, bribery and courage,” is available on Amazon.com and wherever books are sold

 

Follow on twitter @KeithGave

 

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  --- ARCHIVES ---
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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-  March 21, 2017: (Article Untitled)

 

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-  February 22, 2017:   Inspired by Late Owner, can Wings and Tigers Deliver a Memorable Ending...

 

-  February 17, 2017:  ... Highlight Uncertainty of NHL Draft.

 

-  February 13, 2017:  "Pizza Guy" Mike Ilitch, Always Kept Fan Happy ...

 

-  February 11, 2017:  Tigers Pitchers Set to Head to Lakeland for Spring Training ... 

 

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-  February 1, 2017:  Mr. Holland's Opus with Three Goalies...

 

-  January 26, 2017:  Red Wings are not alone amongst once great teams at the bottom ... 

 

-  January 24, 2017:  Life is a bowl of bubbles for local sports fans ...

 

-  January 23, 2017:  Wings GM Holland still has a few options...

 

-  January 17, 2017:  Tigers Slumber through the offseason; Is long expected change still coming?... 

 

-  January 13, 2017:  For Red Wings Fans its time to learn how the NHL Draft Lottery works ... 

 

-  January 6, 2017:  Lions Kicking Out Some Deafening Jams Preparing to Invade Seattle ... 

 

-  January 3, 2017:  It's January and there is still football in the "D" ...

 

-  December 31, 2016:  Lions must prove themselves against the Packers ...

 

-  December 29, 2016: All is right as Wings Honor 1997 Red Wings

 

 

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