Scouting reports from Traverse City
I spent four days watching and covering prospects, here are my impressions on 38 of them.
I spent the past weekend at the Traverse City Prospects tournament hosted by the Detroit Red Wings up in Northern Michigan.
The tournament isn’t as big as it used to be, it used to be eight teams with four games per day, two often going simultaneously, and has since shrunk to a four-team showcase with three games each.
While there are less teams, it easier to focus on each game from start to finish. Instead of having to run from one rink to the other between intermissions, I was able to sit and watch each game closely, take notes between periods, and honestly better view the smaller field.
I also try to take as “blind” of a view as possible, writing out line sheets in my notebook without names and trying not to refer back to the provided line charts, which give intel on a player’s background — to not let their profile or career path influence my view.
It’s imperfect, but I also think it gives me a chance to create more of my own impression.
Here are my impressions on 38 prospects from the tournament. Let’s go team by team, in alphabetical order.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Corson Ceulemans — Didn’t have any points and was one of the few big-name Blue Jacket defensive prospects that actually played in all three games. But by playing in that third game of the tournament, against Dallas, I was able to isolate and watch Ceulemans a little bit more without Denton Mateychuk and David Jiricek there to take top-billing opportunities. Columbus played a chaotic tournament (it was fun), but Ceulemans was more of a calming presence in all three zones. He’s good at winning his one-on-one battles, and positionally, he works well with his partner to skate plays out.
Jordan Dumais — Played on a line with Adam Fantilli for two games, and showed he has the ability to open up and being the final finishing option for an elite talent. Whether it was Fantilli, or a defender jumping into the play, Dumais does a great job of opening himself up and finding the soft spots to create a shot and scoring opportunity. He’s also a bit shrimpish at 5-foot-9, but it’s impressive how well he uses his leverage and low center of gravity to win battles along the boards against larger opponents — especially against Detroit’s fleet of 6-foot-5 plus prospects.
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