NOTE: This story is reprised from a couple of weeks ago. It was originally published following the Blues' announcement of their Traverse City Prospect Tourney roster, and is being repeated today because the Blues will be sending these players to Michigan later this week.
If there are any scheduled pre-tournament practices held this week, and if anyone in attendance has a digital camera, we here at the GTPD would be most grateful for any photos or videos that could be forwarded to us; full credit will be given when the photos/videos are used, for course...
St. Louis Game Time PROSPECT SUNDAY
By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department
Seven players that suited up for Peoria in 2010-11, and all of Blues' 2011 North American draft picks, will play.
The 14th annual Traverse City Prospects Tournament, hosted by the Detroit Red Wings as part of the Wings' training camp, promises to be the biggest and best yet.
The Buffalo Sabres will be making their Traverse City debut this season, replacing the Winnipeg Jets, who participated in the last four tournaments as the Atlanta Thrashers. The Sabres will join Columbus, Minnesota, and host Detroit in the Howe Division, while the Blues will skate in the Gretzky Division along with Carolina, Dallas, and the New York Rangers.
Each team plays a three-game schedule within their division, and then will cross over to play their counterparts in the other division on the final day of the tournament, Sept. 14. The fourth-place club in the Gretzky Division will face the fourth-place club in the Howe Division for seventh place, and so on up to the two Division champions facing off for the tournament championship at 7:00 Pm on the 14th.
There are two rinks at the Traverse City Center Ice complex, the Huntington Rink and David's Rink, and the Blues will play and practice on both ice sheets during their time in northern Michigan this year. The Blues' practice and game schedule is as follows:
|Sat., Sept. 10||1030-1115||Huntington||St. Louis practice|
|Sat., Sept. 10||1900||David's||vs. NY Rangers (STL visitor)|
|Sun., Sept. 11||0900-0945||David's||St. Louis practice|
|Sun., Sept. 11||1500||Huntington||vs. Carolina (STL home)|
|Mon., Sept. 12||0915-1000||David's||St. Louis practice|
|Tue., Sept. 13||030-0915||Huntington||St. Louis practice|
|Tue., Sept. 13||1500||David's||vs. Dallas (STL visitor)|
|Wed., Sept. 14||1500||David's||4th Howe vs 4th Gretzky (7th Place)|
|Wed., Sept. 14||1530||Huntington||3rd Howe vs 3rd Gretzky (5th Place)|
|Wed., Sept. 14||1830||David's||2nd Howe vs 2nd Gretzky (3rd Place)|
|Wed., Sept. 14||1900||Huntington||1st Howe vs 1st Gretzky (Championship)|
After the jump, the Blues' 2011 Traverse City Prospect Tournament roster, with news and notes on some of the prospects who will be wearing the 'Note in Michigan.
|#48 – Jay BARRIBALL||#72 – Cody BEACH||#73 – Brock BEUKEBOOM||#19 – Stefan DELLA ROVERE||#62 – Joel EDMUNDSON|
|BARRIBALL, Jay||C/L||5-09||171||05-27-87||Minnesota (WCHA)||30||12||16||28||+ 6||18||7||0||3|
|BEACH, Cody||RW/R||6-05||180||08-08-92||Calgary (WHL)||17||5||10||15||0||73||1||0||1|
|Moose Jaw (WHL)||40||6||28||34||0||163||2||0||0|
|BEUKEBOOM, Brock||D/R||6-01||202||04-01-92||Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)||44||1||7||8||-11||54||1||0||0|
|DELLA ROVERE, Stefan||LW/L||5-11||200||02-25-90||Peoria (AHL)||66||8||8||16||0||110||0||1||3|
|St. Louis (NHL)||7||0||0||0||0||11||0||0||0|
|EDMUNDSON, Joel||D/R||6-04||200||06-28-93||Moose Jaw (WHL)||71||2||18||20||+ 3||95||1||1||0|
|#82 – Cade FAIRCHILD||#71 – Martin LEFEBVRE||#81 – Stephen MACAULAY||#38 – Philip McRAE||#54 – Anthony NIGRO|
|FAIRCHILD, Cade||D/L||5-11||190||01-15-89||Minnesota (WCHA)||35||6||18||24||+ 5||12||3||1||0|
|LEFEBVRE, Martin||D/L||5-11||180||06-23-92||Quebec (QMJHL)||65||10||45||55||+16||20||2||0||0|
|MACAULAY, Stephen||LW/L||6-01||175||04-20-92||Saint John (QMJHL)||58||15||16||31||+14||36||1||1||4|
|McRAE, Philip||C/L||6-03||191||03-15-90||Peoria (AHL)||46||12||14||26||- 3||23||2||0||0|
|St. Louis (NHL)||15||1||2||3||-10||2||0||0||0|
|NIGRO, Anthony||C/L||6-00||189||01-11-90||Peoria (AHL)||54||9||6||15||- 8||22||1||0||2|
|#65 – Chase POLACEK||#56 – Brett PONICH||#61 – Ty RATTIE||#49 – Andrew SACKRISON||#84 – Tyler SHATTOCK|
|POLACEK, Chase||RW/R||5-08||190||06-19-89||Rensselaer (ECAC)||38||21||28||49||+ 8||36||11||2||9|
|Peoria (AHL)||2||0||0||0||- 1||0||0||0||0|
|PONICH, Brett||D/L||6-07||225||02-22-91||Portland (WHL)||45||0||12||12||+23||60||0||0||0|
|RATTIE, Ty||RW/R||6-00||170||02-05-93||Portland (WHL)||67||28||51||79||+20||55||6||0||4|
|SACKRISON, Andrew||F/L||6-01||200||11-12-87||Minn. State (WCHA)||37||5||14||19||- 2||14||2||0||0|
|SHATTOCK, Tyler||RW/R||6-03||190||02-03-90||Peoria (AHL)||67||3||12||15||+ 4||60||0||1||1|
|#58 – David SHIELDS||#70 – Ryan TESINK||#53 – Nicolas THERRIEN||#67 – Yannick VEILLEUX||#52 – Maxime VILLEMAIRE|
|SHIELDS, David||D/R||6-03||218||01-27-91||Erie (OHL)||61||6||21||27||+29||48||0||0||1|
|TESINK, Ryan||LW/L||6-00||161||05-21-93||Saint John (QMJHL)||59||8||27||35||+26||38||0||0||1|
|THERRIEN, Nicolas||D/L||5-10||185||02-23-90||Chicoutimi (QMJHL)||68||12||32||44||+ 7||76||5||0||0|
|VEILLEUX, Yannick||LW/L||6-01||187||02-22-93||Shawinigan (QMJHL)||68||19||29||48||- 9||40||10||0||3|
|VILLEMAIRE, Maxime||C/L||6-02||217||10-14-92||Drummondville (QMJHL)||57||6||4||10||+ 2||125||0||0||0|
|#34 – Jake ALLEN||#45 – Jordan BINNINGTON|
|Player||Ps/Ct||Ht||Wt||Birthdate||2009-10 Club/League||GP||Mins||GA||SO||GAA||W-L-OT||Shts||Sv %|
|ALLEN, Jake||G/L||6-02||175||08-07-90||Peoria (AHL)||47||2806||118||6||2.52||25-17-5||1424||0.917|
|BINNINGTON, Jordan||G/R||6-02||160||07-11-93||Owen Sound (OHL)||46||2596||132||1||3.05||27-12-5||1307||0.899|
Three invitees, AHL free agent join Blues' draftees.
Of the 22 players that the Blues will be taking to Traverse City in September, 16 are players who were originally drafted by the Blues. Two more players -- forward Jay Barriball and defenseman Brock Beukeboom -- are prospect-age players who were acquired by the Blues in separate trades.
Forward Chase Polacek is the only Traverse City-bound prospect to be signed to an AHL contract with Peoria. The 22-year old native of Edina, Minnesota signed a PTO (pro tryout) contract with the Rivermen last spring after completing a solid four-year career at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (ECAC). In 155 games at RPI, Polacek racked up 66 goals (31 PPG, 14 GWG) and 96 assists for 162 points and 163 minutes in penalty time.
The three free-agent invitees to Traverse City are all players from the Quebec League, two of whom have major junior eligibility left. Forward Maxime Villemaire will not attain his 19th birthday until October, and is considered a big and physical third- or fourth-line forward with minimal offensive upside. Defenseman Martin Lefebvre turned 19 in June, and is a small (5' 11, 180) blueliner with solid offensive upside. Lefebvre's 55 points was good for fourth among defensemen in the QMJHL last year, and his 45 assists were second only to overager Ryan Kavanagh, who has signed with an Austrian club for 2011-12.
The third free-agent invitee scheduled to skate for the Blues in Traverse City is Chicoutimi defenseman Nicolas Therrien. Like Lefebvre, Therrien is a small (5' 10, 185) blueliner with offensive upside. Therrien has committed to play for Montreal-based McGill University in 2011-12, but could be signed to a free-agent contract if his performance in Traverse City is impressive enough.
Of the drafted prospects who will be wearing the 'Note in Traverse City, two big defensemen will be looking to demonstrate that they have recovered completely from medical issues that cost them significant time last year. Beukeboom, acquired from Tampa in trade last February, served as captain of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL), but appeared in only 44 games due a a concussion suffered just prior to his being traded to the Blues.
Brett Ponich, drafted 48th overall by the Blues in 2009, also served as captain of his junior club last year (the Portland Winter Hawks of the WHL), and also missed almost half the season due to injury. A midseason knee injury limited Ponich to just 45 games with the Hawks last year.