The 2014 Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament is closing in on us. Running from September 12 to September 16 of this year, the Prospects Tournament will give fans of a select few teams a chance to gaze upon the players of the future. The Tournament gives recent draftees, prospects, AHL players, and camp invitees a chance to prove their skill and knowledge of the game against players of the same caliber. This year, the 16th year of the Tournament, we will see the many prospects of the Blue Jackets, Sabres, Rangers, Red Wings, Wild, Hurricanes, Stars, and Blues. 440 prospects who have participated in this tournament have gone on to play at least one NHL game. Hopefully, a number of Canes prospects will follow in their footsteps.
The Hurricanes are participating in the Tournament once again this year which will give fans an opportunity to dissect a portion of possible future NHLers. Our roster has not been released just yet, it is expected to come out soon, but there will surely be some recognizable names on the team. I would most definitely expect the likes of Haydn Fleury, who has already been mentioned as part of the team, Brock McGinn, Sergey Tolchinsky, Daniel Altshuller, Victor Rask, and Trevor Carrick to make their way to Traverse City. Other prospects, like Brendan Woods, Phil Di Giuseppe, Patrick Brown, Erik Karlsson (2012), Brett Pesce, Keegan Lowe, and Tyler Ganly seem to be likely, but some could be left off the list. Reasons for not attending the Tournament could include previous important hockey-related activities and/or injury concerns, both prior and possible.
I would love to see the majority of Canes prospects to show off a bit in Traverse City, but I clearly cannot expect that. I know some of them will make a name for themselves, like Tolchinsky did during Prospects Camp and the Tournament last year. Given our run of NHL Draft mediocrity, I don’t expect us to win the Tournament, but it will at least give us an idea of where our prospect pool is situated.
One major concern about the Tournament is the possibility of injury. Any hockey game has this possibility, but certain players could end up playing key roles for the Hurricanes or for the Charlotte Checkers, with the latter being more likely. Daniel Altshuller should play a key role this year in the AHL as should Victor Rask. Brock McGinn could very well crack the NHL roster at some point of the year given some kind of injury or depth chart risk Coach Peters wants to try. Let’s just hope no injury concerns are brought up during the Tournament.
Once the full Traverse City Prospects Tournament roster is released for the Hurricanes, we will have it. Let’s see what the future Hurricanes can do!