Detroit Red Wings Prospects Show Again Why the Future Is Bright


The Detroit Red Wings’ NHL prospects tournament, held annually in Traverse City Michigan, has been described as “the hardest and best amateur tournament in the world” by Red Wings’ director of player development, Jiri Fischer.  With the Red Wings currently possessing one of the most touted prospect rosters in the NHL, it’s no surprise that they found themselves playing in the championship game of the tournament.

Tuesday night Detroit faced an equally talented group of skilled young prospects from the Columbus Blue Jackets in the championship game at the Centre I.C.E. Arena. The Columbus squad was led by three of their top forward prospects, Kerby Rychel, Oliver Bjorkstrand and TJ Tynan.

Despite finishing with a 3-1 record in the 8 team tournament, the Red Wings’ prospects would come up short to Columbus in the final game by a score of 5-2. Tomas Nosek and Andreas Athanasiou scored the two goals for Detroit in the championship game.

The Blue Jackets’ championship victory would be the clubs second-straight Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup Championship as well as the team’s record-tying 4th total Traverse City prospects tournament title. Only the St. Louis Blues’ prospects have won the tournament four times. In the last three years the Red Wings have finished in first, second and third place of the tournament.

As a fan of the Detroit Red Wings, losing to St. Louis and Columbus is always a bitter pill to swallow, even at the prospects-level. Despite losing in the championship game, the tournament proved that there are still plenty of things to for fans in Hockeytown to be excited about. Here are some players who stood out for the Red Wings during the tournament:

Tomas Nosek

Our fearless leader (and expectant father) here at Octopus Thrower, Nate Francis, recently

praised Tomas Nosek

and put him on everyone’s radar. And by all the other accounts I’ve read about the talented young Czech, Nosek appears to be NHL ready. Along with Andreas Athanasiou, Nosek led the Detroit prospects with 3 goals during the tournament.

In game two of the tournament, Nosek played on a line alongside the gritty Tyler Bertuzzi and the recently drafted Evgeni Svechnikov. Tomas’ gritty, skilled, and versatile style of play made him one of the standout and top-scoring  players for Detroit all tournament long. He has all the skills to impress and produce which would allow him to challenge for a roster spot with the Red Wings.

Tyler Bertuzzi

Whether you like or hate his family’s name, Tyler Bertuzzi is quickly becoming a favorite among many people in the Detroit Red Wings’ system. After an impressive last year with the OHL’s Guelph Storm, where he scored 43 goals and 55 assists, little Bertuzzi is quickly climbing the ranks of the Detroit Organization.

Much like his uncle Todd, Tyler Bertuzzi has a knack for scoring goals while simultaneously getting under the skin of his opponents. And according to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, he heard some flattering comments about Bertuzzi:

Andreas Athanasiou

Like the aforementioned Tomas Nosek, Andreas Athanasiou also led the Detroit prospects with 3 goals during the Traverse City tournament. Andreas will be looking to bounce back from an injury, and his play this week was a great start.

Andreas spent most of the tournament on a line with Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha, where his speed and skill with the puck allowed him to shine among his highly regarded line-mates. Andreas possesses a slick and skilled bag of tricks that always make him stand out whenever he is on the ice. Expect him to have a solid year with the Griffins and possibly even crack the Wings lineup a few times if need be.

The players mentioned above are just a few examples of why the Detroit Red Wings and their fans should be excited about the future of their team. Thanks to years of quality drafting and scouting, “newly” appointed head coach Jeff Blashill will have plenty of weapons in his arsenal for many years to come.

Next: Another ducking team profile: Scouting the 2015 Anaheim Ducks