Today the Minnesota Wild announced their roster for the annual Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan, held September 12-16. The event features eight NHL teams sending a roster of prospects and invitees to compete in a five-day tournament.
The Wild will compete this year in the “Gordie Howe division” featuring prospect teams from the Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, and St. Louis Blues. The other division, dubbed the “Ted Lindsay Division,” will feature prospects from the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, and New York Rangers.
In total, the Wild’s team will feature, per the team’s press release, 12 Wild draft picks and four free agent signees including forwards Raphael Bussieres (2012, 2nd round), Reid Duke (2014, 6th round), Kurtis Gabriel (2013, 3rd round), Tyler Graovac (2011, 7th round), Pavel Jenys (2014, 7th round), Chase Lang (2014, 6th round), Brady Brassart (free agent), and Zack Mitchell (free agent), defenseman Mathew Dumba (2012, 1st round), Tanner Faith (2014, 5th round), Dylan Labbe (2013, 4th round), Gustav Olofsson (2013, 2nd round), Christian Folin (free agent), and Guillaume Gélinas (free agent), and goaltenders Alexandre Belanger (2013, 7th round) and Johan Gustafsson (2010, 6th round). Bussieres, Gabriel, Belanger, Gustafsson, Dumba, Graovac, and Labbe all played for the Wild in the tournament last year.
In addition, the Wild’s roster will feature a number invitees, including six forwards, two defenseman, and a goaltender. Those invitees are forwards Olivier Archambault (QMJHL), Jessey Astles (WHL), Reid Gardiner (WHL), Ryan Graham (WHL), Andrew Ryan (QMJHL), and Ryan Walters (NCHC), defenseman Alex Gudbranson (OHL) and Hunter Warner (USHL), and goaltender Brandon Whitney (QMJHL). (Get a little more on a couple of these players in posts from earlier this week. We posted on both Ryan Graham and Andrew Ryan.) Archambault was on the 2013 roster on a tryout as well.
Last season both Colton Jobke and Corbin Baldwin joined the team on a tryout and wound up getting time with the Iowa Wild of the AHL. Baldwin played 64 games for the Wild last season.
The tournament can be a coming out party for some prospects who are on the verge of breaking into the NHL lineup. From the Wild, Dumba was particularly good last year and even earned special mention in a NHL.com article highlighting ten players who stood out. That list from last season included players who made an impression with their first year in the league last season, including Valeri Nichushkin of the Stars and Boone Jenner of the Blue Jackets. Dumba finished the tournament last year with an assist and seven shots over four games. Erik Haula also played on the Wild’s prospect team last season.
The Wild took eighth place and lost all four games in 2013.
Full Prospects Tournament Schedule:
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
2:30 p.m. Minnesota vs. Columbus
3:00 p.m. Buffalo vs. Carolina
6:00 p.m. New York Rangers vs. Dallas
6:30 p.m. Detroit vs. St. Louis
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
2:30 p.m. Carolina vs. Dallas
3:00 p.m. Minnesota vs. St. Louis
6:00 p.m. Buffalo vs. New York Rangers
6:30 p.m. Detroit vs. Columbus
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
2:00 p.m. Dallas vs. Buffalo
2:30 p.m. Columbus vs. St. Louis
5:30 p.m. New York Rangers vs. Carolina
6:00 p.m. Minnesota vs. Detroit
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
2:00 p.m. Seventh Place Game (4th Howe vs. 4th Lindsay)
2:30 p.m. Fifth Place Game (3rd Howe vs. 3rd Lindsay)
5:30 p.m. Third Place Game (2nd Howe vs. 2nd Lindsay)
6:00 p.m. Championship Game (1st Howe vs. 1st Lindsay)
* All times listed are Central