As we previewed on Friday, the 2009 NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan starts today. The Stars take on the Blues this evening at 5 p.m. CDT, in the first of four games among eight teams.
Unfortunately, Defending Big D could not make it to the tournament this weekend but there are several local writers in attendance to provide us as much coverage as we can get. While I would prefer to provide live updates from the tournaments personally, we'll do our best to round up as much coverage as we can find. I'll be scouring the web all day today
Unfortunately, the NHL Network will not be broadcasting games this year but there are rumors of some streaming options (I've yet to find any though). NHL.com is in attendance and will be covering the tournament, and has a good preview up covering the top prospects from each team that will be playing. Here's what they have to say about a few of the Stars prospects (they oddly fail to mention Jamie Benn):
Scott Glennie, No. 8, 2009 -- Glennie, who compares his style to Jeff Carter of the Philadelphia Flyers, spent the 2008-09 season with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL and scored 28 goals and 70 points in 55 games. In 12 playoff games, he helped the Wheat Kings reach the WHL Conference Finals finishing with 15 assists and 18 points. He won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka and also won bronze at the 2008 World Under-17 Challenge as a member of Team West.
"Scott brings a lot of speed and skill," Stars Director of Amateur Scouting Tim Bernhardt told dallasstars.com. "He has very good vision and sees the ice well. He's a right wing, but also a centerman, so we don't know what he'll play down the road. His coach said he will play center next year and he's played a lot of center before."
After the jump, a rundown of the local writers in attendance and their coverage of the tournament.
Among those suiting up for Dallas are four players who are ranked among the Top 150 NHL Prospects by McKeen's for 2009.
- LW Jamie Benn, ranked 21st among skaters, will be making his pro debut this season. He's coming off an outstanding final year of junior hockey that saw him score 46 goals in 56 games and lead his team to the WHL championship and Memorial Cup Final.
- RW Scott Glennie, ranked 31st among skaters, was the 8th overall selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He'll play for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL this season, where he had 28 goals and 42 assists in 55 games last season.
- D Ivan Vishnevskiy, ranked 92nd among skaters, is coming off his first full pro season. He spent most of it with Peoria of the AHL, where he had six goals and 13 assists in 67 games. He also had a very strong showing in three games with Dallas late last season.
G Richard Bachman, ranked 24th among goaltenders by McKeen's, will be making his professional debut this season after two seasons with Colorado College. He's expected to battle for a job with the Texas Stars of the AHL this season.
Mark will be updating throughout the tournament on both his site and on his Twitter account. You can follow Mark by going here.
Also in attendance is Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News. Here he gives a rundown of the tournament, and what this means for the Stars.
There are eight teams, and each team will play four games (three pool games and a final placement game). The Stars are represented by some of their top prospects, including Jamie Benn, Ivan Vishnevskiy and Scott Glennie. Benn and Vishnevskiy are repeats from last year's tournament. The players who participate are either ready for their pro career or are playing in Europe or in Canadian juniors. If you want to maintain your college eligibility, you can't participate in this tournament.
Dallas is the defending champ, but has a new coaching staff in Glen Gulutzan and Paul Jerrard (who are the new coaches of the Stars' AHL affiliate in Cedar Park, Texas). Idaho's Derek Laxdal coached the team last season with Stu Barnes as his assitant. Gulutzan and Jerrard have been in conferences with new Stars coach Marc Crawford, so this team should give us an indication of what kind of system Crawford wants to run. It's pretty clear that the Stars will take advantage of the new Texas Stars to get their prospects on the same page with the NHL team.
You can follow Heika's updates over at the DMN Dallas Stars blog.
Check back here this evening for the results of the first game of the tournament and any news that may break.