Traverse City Bantering Points: Why It's A Good Thing And Some Random Prospect Thoughts

Bruce Bennett

Some Tuesday morning Bantering points.

Let me kick things off by saying I love the Traverse City tournament. It makes it feel like hockey is coming back that much quicker and when the games are aired by MSG and we can actually watch them it makes it even better. And since the schedule has been released let's talk about Traverse City and then some prospects I'm excited about right now:

- The tournament is a really good measuring stick for some of these prospects when they're going up against other teams. It really is. And it lets us get a good look at the different levels of some of the prospects.

- There are a couple of mainstays, too. Guys like Dylan McIlrath and Ryan Bourque feel like they've been around the tournament forever. Which isn't a bad thing. Remember, Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan went through these tournaments as well. And if my memory serves me right, they actually won the tournament one year.

- Speaking of Bourque, I feel like this is a make or break year of him development wise. He's learned to do all the little things right in the AHL, now it's time to put up some numbers. He's almost like a Ryan Callahan type of player without the offense right now. That could be worse, but it's not going to get him up to the NHL.

- Both Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast are 21. Seems kind of crazy considering how much time they've spend in Sweden and how much hype there is around both of them. That can only be a good thing. Fast did score a goal in his only AHL appearance this year. Lindberg was a finalist for MVP of the SEL, to boot.

- Two guys I'm going to keep a very close eye on this year: Calle Andersson and Thomas Spelling. Andersson should have been much better last year but didn't get the ice time. That should change this year. And Spelling is a really interesting prospect who dominated a lower league two years ago and could turn into something. Both are worth keeping up with.

- Christian Thomas didn't have a bad season with the Connecticut Whale (now back to the Hartford Wolf Pack). He had 19 goals in 73 games which is nothing to be ashamed of. I expect bigger things from him. I think he's going to be a better player than some of you are giving him credit for.

- I'm also a big fan of Boo Nieves. Did really nice things with Michigan his freshman year in the NCAA. He registered 8 goals and 21 assists for 29 points in 40 games. Not bad at all.

- And, of course, one of my favorite prospects right now: Michael St. Croix. He had 92 points in 72 regular season games for his WHL Oil Kings and then had a whopping 26 points in 22 playoff games. Compare that to his numbers two years ago (105 points in 72 regular season games and 19 points in 20 playoff games) and I think the Rangers have something special.

Anyway, enough rambling from me. Anyone else you guys are interested in?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Blueshirt Banter

You must be a member of Blueshirt Banter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blueshirt Banter. You should read them.

Join Blueshirt Banter

You must be a member of Blueshirt Banter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blueshirt Banter. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker