The biggest reason to get excited for Detroit Red Wings prospect tournament

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

The annual Traverse City prospects tournament for the Detroit Red Wings has been announce to start September 14th. This year’s tournament will include the Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Dallas Stars, down a team from last year’s tournament.

This year’s tournament is expected to be packed with top-end prospects from all four teams, including Columbus’ first-round pick, former Michigan Wolverine Adam Fantelli, and fellow Wolverine Gavin Brindley (second-round pick). On top of these players, Columbus has a handful of other top prospects that should also be making their way to Traverse City. Dallas and Toronto will have a handful of players to watch for the die-hard hockey fan.

The Detroit Red Wings will have a roster that should be loaded with top-end talent after finishing the tournament 2-1 in the round-robin, with a finishing win against Toronto 4-1. There are many things for Red Wings fans to potentially keep an eye on this year in Traverse City.

What to look forward to at the Detroit Red Wings prospect tournament in Traverse City

Every year, there is always a player that can be seen as the “surprise” player of the tournament that shocks not just fans of the Red Wings but also the management team. Last year, that player was a free agent invitee Riley Piercy from the Flint Firebirds of the OHL. Piercy put up four goals in three games played in the tournament and opened a lot of eyes. Although Piercy did not earn himself a professional contract, he helped himself get some exposure and became a fan favorite throughout the tournament.

So, the question is, who could be the potential “Riley Piercy” of the 2023 prospects tournament for the Detroit Red Wings?

The next thing to look out for is if the Red Wings goaltenders can keep their hot streak going. Last year, between Sebastian Cossa, Andrew Oke, and Jan Bednar, the goaltenders put up a 2-1 record, with a 2.67 GAA and a .905 save percentage. If Cossa is brought back for the tournament and 2023 draft pick Trey Augustine is included, it should be interesting to see what kind of numbers the netminders can put up this year.

Lastly, a key thing to look for is how the newest draft class can fit in and how they compare to some of the other top prospects in the NHL. First-rounders Nate Danielson and Axel Sandin-Pelikka will most likely be in the tournament this year and should be expected to look every bit the part. Going up against players like the aforementioned Fantelli will be a big test to see where these kids are at development-wise and what else they need to work on.

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Overall, the annual prospect tournament is a way for teams and fans alike to get a good look at their teams’ futures and see what these young players are fully capable of while playing against the best of the best prospect-wise as well. This year will be no different and should be exciting and entertaining for all involved.