Previews and Predictions, Prospects

Traverse City Tournament Viewer’s Guide

It’s time again for one of the premier prospect tournaments in hockey. The annual Traverse City prospect’s tournament gets underway on Friday. This year, a new team enters the mix.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will replace the Carolina Hurricanes in the eight-team tournament. The Hurricanes announced that they will partake in the 2019 NHL Prospects’ Showcase being held Sept. 7-10 in Nashville against the Predators, Capitals and Lightning. The Maple Leafs previously participated in the Rookie Showdown with the Canadiens and Senators.

The eight teams are divided into two divisions, the Gordie Howe Division and the Ted Lindsay Division. Each team will play three games against their division rivals in a round-robin format. These games will take place on Friday, Saturday and Monday.

On Tuesday, each team plays one more game. This time, it’s against the team from the other division that finished in the same place. The winner of the championship game Tuesday takes home the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup.

So when does your team play? Which prospects are the headliners for each roster? We will go team-by-team and break that down for you. We will include individual team schedules as well as three headlining prospects for each team. We will include one forward, one defenseman and one goalie for each team as well as links to the full rosters. We will start with the Ted Lindsay division and the defending champion Columbus Blue Jackets.

Columbus Blue Jackets celebrate
The Columbus Blue Jackets won last year’s prospect’s tournament. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Ted Lindsay Division

Columbus Blue Jackets

Click here for full roster.

Schedule

  • Friday: New York Rangers. West Rink. 3:30 P.M. eastern
  • Saturday: Minnesota Wild. David’s Rink. 6:30 P.M. eastern
  • Monday: Dallas Stars. David’s Rink. 2:00 P.M. eastern
  • Tuesday: TBD

Prospects to Watch

  • Alexandre Texier: He made his debut late last season and did not disappoint. He could play a big role on this season’s Blue Jackets roster.
  • Andrew Peeke: The former Notre Dame captain is looking to take the next step in his development. With the Blue Jackets defense crowded in Columbus, expect Peeke to play huge minutes for the Monsters.
  • Elvis Merzlikins: Now in North America, Merzlikins is your likely opening-day backup to Joonas Korpisalo. Many eyes will be on him as he gets his first action in a Blue Jackets’ uniform.

Dallas Stars

Click here for full roster.

Schedule

  • Friday: Minnesota Wild. David’s Rink. 2:00 P.M. central
  • Saturday: New York Rangers. West Rink. 6:00 P.M. central
  • Monday: Columbus Blue Jackets. David’s Rink. 1:00 P.M. central
  • Tuesday: TBD

Prospects to Watch

  • Jason Robertson: He had an outstanding season between Kingston and Niagara winning the CHL scoring title. The former second-round pick will likely shine with the Texas Stars this season.
  • Ben Gleason: He got a cup of coffee in the NHL last season even getting on the score sheet. He’ll look to make a major contribution in the AHL this season. Not bad for someone who went undrafted.
  • Jake Oettinger: Both he and Colton Point will look for the starting job in the AHL. Will he be able to have a successful season to challenge for a backup role in 2020-21?
Jake Oettinger, Dallas Stars
Jake Oettinger could be the starter this season for the Texas Stars. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Minnesota Wild

Click here for full roster.

Schedule

  • Friday: Dallas Stars. David’s Rink. 2:00 P.M. central
  • Saturday: Columbus Blue Jackets. David’s Rink. 5:30 P.M. central
  • Monday: New York Rangers. West Rink. 1:30 P.M. central
  • Tuesday: TBD

Prospects to Watch

  • Nico Sturm: With Matthew Boldy unsigned, Sturm is the player to watch for the Wild. After leading Clarkson in scoring, Sturm has an outside chance of making the Wild with a strong camp.
  • Fedor Gordeev: You can’t mistake him on the ice at 6-foot-6, but after being traded to the Wild, it’s time for him to show us if he can make an impact at the next level.
  • Mat Robson: His play at the University of Minnesota led to a 2-year contract with the Wild. He’s big at 6-foot-3 and could be an eventual replacement for Devan Dubnyk in several years.

New York Rangers

Click here for full roster.

Schedule

  • Friday: Columbus Blue Jackets. West Rink. 3:30 P.M. eastern
  • Saturday: Dallas Stars. West Rink. 7:00 P.M. eastern
  • Monday: Minnesota Wild. West Rink. 2:30 P.M. eastern
  • Tuesday: TBD

Prospects to Watch

  • Kaapo Kakko: Let the Wacko for Kakko show begin.
  • Adam Fox: He has offense for days, but how will he do in season one defensively?
  • Igor Shesterkin: What if he plays well enough to challenge Alexandar Georgiev? Nice problem to have in net.
Kaapo Kakko New York Rangers Draft
Kaapo Kakko will make his Rangers’ debut in Traverse City. (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

The Gordie Howe Division

Chicago Blackhawks

Click here for full roster.

Schedule

  • Friday: Detroit Red Wings. West Rink. 6 P.M. central
  • Saturday: Toronto Maple Leafs. David’s Rink. 2 P.M. central
  • Monday: St. Louis Blues. David’s Rink. 4:30 P.M. central
  • Tuesday: TBD

Prospects to Watch

  • Kirby Dach: Many questioned this pick. Can he show any semblance of being worthy of the third-overall pick?
  • Adam Boqvist: Another offensive dynamo who showed good signs late in the OHL season. Very intriguing prospect.
  • Alexis Gravel: He had an excellent postseason for Halifax and will look to continue his upward trend. Can he find the form that once made him a highly-touted prospect?

Detroit Red Wings

Click here for full roster.

Schedule

  • Friday: Chicago Blackhawks. West Rink. 7 P.M. eastern
  • Saturday: St. Louis Blues. West Rink. 3:30 P.M. eastern
  • Monday: Toronto Maple Leafs. West Rink. 6:00 P.M. eastern
  • Tuesday: TBD

Prospects to Watch

  • Filip Zadina: The Zadina revenge tour might be coming to Little Caesars Arena this season.
  • Moritz Seider: Other teams liked him, but Steve Yzerman really liked him. Can’t wait to see this player on the ice.
  • Kaden Fulcher: He really hasn’t wowed you at any level, but he does remain on the radar in Detroit. He got in a game last season. Can he keep climbing up the depth chart?
Filip Zadina
Filip Zadina is ready to show he belongs in the NHL to stay. (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

St. Louis Blues

Click here for full roster.

Schedule:

  • Friday: Toronto Maple Leafs. David’s Rink. 5:30 P.M. central
  • Saturday: Detroit Red Wings. West Rink. 2:30 P.M. central
  • Monday: Chicago Blackhawks: David’s Rink. 4:30 P.M. central
  • Tuesday: TBD

Prospects to Watch

  • Klim Kostin: This trade is going to be talked about for several years eventually. Ryan Reaves for the pick that became Kostin.
  • Mitch Reinke: As a defenseman, he was the second-leading scorer on AHL San Antonio and played a bunch against the opposition’s best. Can the good times continue?
  • Joel Hofer: A goalie who is 6-foot-4 and a good athlete is always interesting. Could he be the next Jordan Binnington? (Never know.)

Toronto Maple Leafs

Click here for full roster.

Schedule:

  • Friday: St. Louis Blues. David’s Rink. 6:30 P.M. eastern
  • Saturday: Chicago Blackhawks. David’s Rink. 3:00 P.M. eastern
  • Monday: Detroit Red Wings. West Rink. 6:00 P.M. eastern
  • Tuesday: TBD

Prospects to Watch

  • Egor Korshkov: Time is ticking for the former 31st overall pick. He has the tools. Can he finally get some results?
  • Joseph Duszak: He’s one of the most creative players at this entire tournament especially from the blue line. Interested in seeing how he does against bigger players.
  • Ian Scott: The WHL playoff MPV and CHL’s top goaltender improved dramatically last season. With the unfortunate injury to Joseph Woll, Scott will get his chance to shine starting in Traverse City.

How to Watch the Games

Games in Traverse City will be streamed on Fox Sports Go. They can also be found on your respective team’s website if they offer that option.

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