Riley Tufte came to his third Dallas Stars Prospect Development Camp last week as a savvy veteran among his younger counterparts. The 2016 No. 25 overall has two years of college play under his belt – including the experience of being a key player for both an NCAA title winner and a bronze medal-winning Team USA in the 2018 World Junior Championships.
The older and wiser left wing also has a new confidence in his own identity as a player and is taking his place as a leader of his fellow prospects, writes Mike Heika:
“I remember my first year I came in and didn’t know what to expect -- it’s nerve-wracking,” Tufte said. “Now, you try to be the older guy for the guys out there and see if they need anything.”
Tufte made a tough decision to stay in school instead of turn pro this year. He’ll return to help his Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs defend their 2018 NCAA Division I championship, but word is he’s already becoming a player who can crack an NHL roster:
“He took a big step forward. He was a big part of that team that won a national championship. Now, he wants an expanded role,” said Rich Peverley, the Stars’ Player Development Coordinator. “He’s way more mature. He’s getting bigger, he’s filling out his frame, he’s a more mature person when you talk to him.”...
”On the ice, he’s learning his role more,” Peverley said. “I think he still had some high school habits in him in his first year, he wanted to play a skill game when he’s more of a power forward. He’s starting to change, and there were games when he would just dominate.”
Mike has more. [Dallas Stars]
Development camp ended on Friday, so enjoy this video of Ty Dellandrea and several other prospects testing their reflexes with the Vive headset.
The DMN’s Gerry Fraley catches up with sleeper netminding prospect Colton Point.
As of midnight CDT, the #TavaresWatch was still on. John Tavares can no longer sign for eight years with the New York Islanders, but NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti left this thought as the hockey world awaits JT’s decision as if he were The Bachelor, or LeBron James:
I have no idea what's going to happen, but the minimal news coming out on John Tavares today has Lou Lamoriello written all over it.— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) July 1, 2018
Not sure that'd be the case if Lamoriello wasn't still involved in this process in some way.
Of course, the same information can lead other reporters to different conclusions:
Just a gut feeling, but would assume this means Tavares is leaving New York.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) July 1, 2018
Shapiro also compiled all known information on Tavares’ meeting with the Stars’ brass, and advises you to read it before it’s overtaken by events. [The Athletic DFW]
After Hutton and Bernier goalie market takes a dip. Khudobin isn’t a bad option and played 31 games last season for Boston and was serviceable. 30-plus games is the work load you should expect for Bishop’s backup.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) June 30, 2018
Around the League(s)
Meanwhile, in other people’s transactions:
- Logan Couture may get his wish to never leave the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks have reportedly agreed to a deal with the elite center worth eight years and $64 million. [ESPN]
- Star forward James van Riemsdyk will bid farewell to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Expect a new deal with the Philadelphia Flyers to be announced sometime today. [Broad Street Hockey]
- Winger-agitator Ryan Reaves has agreed to a two-year, $5.55 million extension with the Vegas Golden Knights, per TSN’s Darren Dreger. [Knights On Ice]
- The Detroit Red Wings are hammering out a two-year deal with defenseman Mike Green and a three-year contract with Colorado Avalanche UFA goalie Jonathan Bernier. [NHL]
- And blueliner Niklas Hjalmarsson will sign a two-year, $10 million extension with the Arizona Coyotes, reports Elliotte Friedman. [Sportsnet]
What are the odds James Neal will return to the Stars? He’s just one of the big-name non-Tavares forwards on the market, including Paul Stastny, Michael Grabner and Joe Thornton. Brian Compton rounds up names and potential destinations. [NHL]
Elsewhere, a much more unhappy transition is imminent: Hockeystats.ca will sign off permanently today.
https://t.co/tpOYJL1Etc will be going down for good on July 1. Thanks for visiting! Have a great summer.— hockeystats.ca (@HockeyStatsCa) June 30, 2018
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