Dallas Stars: Traverse City
Many of the Stars top prospects will play including the team’s last three first round picks – defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (2011), goaltender Jack Campbell (2010) and forward Scott Glennie (2009).
“It’s a good tournament,” said Glennie. “It gets you ready for camp, that’s the biggest part of it for us. That’s why we go there. It’s good to get the legs back and get in the game mindset again. It’s a big thing for all of us.”
Stars prospects will be joined by those from the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild and Buffalo Sabres.
“For a lot of guys it is a measuring stick to where you are, not only against prospects from other teams but guys in your own organization that you may have to beat out,” said Campbell. “That’s a huge thing for that tournament, but also if you play well you might get a shot at the next level. It’s just a great opportunity for everybody.”
Defenseman Brenden Dillon is another top Dallas prospect playing at the tournament. Dillon, a free agent signing out of the WHL made quite an impression during his brief stint with the Texas Stars late last season, and is expected to push for some NHL playing time this season. This will be another chance to shine in front of Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk, Stars Director of Scouting and Player Development Les Jackson, head coach Glen Gulutzan and others.
“It was nice to get that little taste last year and that was a valuable experience,” said Dillon. “But now you’re going to have Joe, Les and all those guys watching and I am sure Gully will be around, so it will be good to get back in that rhythm and get this time of year going again.”
This will be Dillon’s first appearance at the tournament, which begins Saturday and runs through Wednesday.
“Everybody is itching to go with the season and this is the first taste of that. It’s a little bit of a taste of everything,” said Dillon. “You get to see all the top prospects from all the teams and get to play with the top prospects from Dallas. It’s exciting. I’m looking forward to it.”
Campbell, who will share the goaltending duties with Tyler Beskorowany, will be playing in his second tournament. He said he put too much pressure on himself last year to make an impression. This year he just wants to be himself.
“This year I am going to go out and have fun,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll stop all the pucks.”
Glennie’s a Traverse City veteran. He’ll be playing in his third tournament and his approach will be a lot different than the first one back in 2009.
“My first year playing there were a lot more nerves. You don’t know what to expect. Now, you know what the pace is going to be like and what it’s like,” Glennie said. “I have to go and take on more of a role. I’ll be one of the older guys and it will be my third year, so I want to take on a leadership role. We’ll see how that plays out. It’s definitely going to be different the first year I played there.”
Glennie and the other Dallas prospects will be coached by Jeff Pyle, the new head coach of the Texas Stars, and Texas assistant Jeff Truitt. There won’t be a lot of practice time heading into that first game, but Glennie said that’s part of what makes the tournament interesting.
“It’s a little bit crazy on the ice because you don’t practice too many systems. They try to get in as much as possible in the couple practices that you have before,” said Glennie. “It’s basically go out there and show what you can do. It’s a bit of a tougher environment, but you get used to it. You play four games and by the end of it everybody has kind of jelled together. It’s fun.”
And one advantage is that many of the guys have played together before and most of the players were together for a week at the team’s development camp in July.
“We kind of know each other now, most of the Stars prospects. It’s fun to work your way up and get to know everybody,” said Campbell. “I think that chemistry goes a long way in the tournament. It’s whatever team clicks the best is the one that will come out with the win.”
Dallas Stars Traverse City roster
Forwards: Matt Carter, Oliver D'Aoust, Matt Fraser, Scott Glennie, Cole Grbavac, Tristan King, Nick Layton, Scott Oke, Brett Ritchie, Ondrej Roman, Stephen Schultz, Matej Stransky, Matt Tassone
Defensemen: Jace Coyle, Curtis Crombeen, Brenden Dillon, Hubert Labrie, Jamie Oleksiak, Alex Theriau, Troy Vance
*You'll get a chance to see Dallas Stars prospects play at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan thanks to MSG Network and the NHL Network. NHLN is picking up MSG Network's broadcasts of the New York Rangers games at the tournament and will carry the Stars-Rangers tilt on Sunday September 11. According to NHL Network's online schedule, the Stars-Rangers game will be broadcast live and then later on Sunday and again on Monday.
*While I am on the subject of prospects, I met a guy named Robert Keith out at development camp back in July and he took several photos of the players who were out in McKinney that week. Lots of good shots of guys like Jamie Oleksiak, Jack Campbell, Tyler Beskorowany and others. You can see them here and here.
*The Stars announced Friday that Stu Barnes will be taking part in the 2011 Alumni Classic. Barnes and Guy Carbonneau are two of ten former Stars who will be taking part. The rest of the players will be announced one at a time on weekdays through September 15. The next player will be announced Tuesday September 6. No announcement on Monday, which is Labor Day. Details on the Alumni Classic are here.
Scott Glennie and Alex Theriau were the goal scorers for the Stars. Tristan King picked up an assist in game, giving him a team-high four points (one goal, three assists) for the tournament.
Tyler Beskorowany got the start in goal and stopped 34 of 41 shots.
The box score for today's game is here.
The final tournament stats for the Stars are here.
“I’ve been like that for a long time and it’s brought me some success,” Backman said. “That’s the way I play.”
Backman, 24, signed with the Stars as a free agent in March after four years at Yale, where he ranks fourth all-time in goals (77 in 122 games). He missed the end of last season with a heel injury and received clearance to play just last month, so he did not skate at the Stars development camp in July.
The Stars have been getting a look at the right wing, who is listed at 5-9, 170 pounds, the past few days at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan.
“He was kind of what we thought he was going to be,” said Texas Stars GM Scott White. “He’s an undersized right winger, but he never misses a chance to take a shot. He can skate and he’s got a nose around the net. He’s really smart. He takes calculated risks offensively. He’s projected to play in Cedar Park and it’s up to him to see how far he can take it.”
Through the first three games of the tournament Backman has no points and he ranks second on the team with nine shots on goal.
“It’s a good learning experience and a good taste of the pro life,” Backman said after a practice in Traverse City. “You see where you stack up in the organization and you know what to expect out of the organization in terms of their style of play.”
Backman’s style is one that utilizes his speed, skill and shot. Those are elements he believes will help him overcome the lack of size as he makes the transition to the pro game.
“I just have to do what I do best, which is use my speed to my advantage and shoot the puck,” he said. “I think with the new rules it works to my advantage. If I can keep my feet moving I can draw penalties. There’s not a lot of clutching and grabbing in the game today, so I think it works out to my advantage.”
Stars to play for 5th place
Stars prospects will play their final game at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City on Wednesday. They’ll take on the New York Rangers for 5th place. Game time is 1:30 p.m. (CT). Detroit and Minnesota will play for the championship later in the day.
Jace Coyle scored the lone goal, tallying on the power play with 14 seconds left in the game. Tristan King picked up the assist.
The box score of today's game is here.
The Stars finished round-robin play with a 1-2-0 record. Their next opponent and when they play on Wednesday will be determined by the outcome of the later games today.
I wasn't there today, so I can't comment on the game. I will say that Tristan King has been productive. He's had a hand in four of the Stars' last five goals.
I thought about mentioning Jace Coyle yesterday when I put up some thoughts on players, but then I cut him out at the last minute. Not sure why. I just did. He caught my eye a few times over the weekend, especially Saturday. He moved the puck well and made some nice defensive plays. He used his stick well to break up some plays.
It’s just a snap shot of these guys because they played in two games (and the first game wasn’t pretty), haven’t had much time to practice together and I don’t read a ton into it, especially when it comes to stats. There’s still Dallas’ training camp and a long season ahead. Still, it’s good to see them in competitive situations against other top prospects.
I am not got going to discuss every player, just some of the key ones, those who I was interested in watching and some of the others who caught my attention. Guys like Colton Sceviour and Luke Gazdic only played one game and I’ve seen them a lot, so there’s no need to discuss them. The Stars think highly of both those guys.
Anyway, some thoughts.
Scott Glennie: Nothing stats-wise in the first two games, but I see him the same way I did when I watched him some via the internet at Canada’s junior team camp. He’s a lot more noticeable this year than he was last year. He was winning puck battles, competing hard and his speed was on display. We’ll see how he looks at training camp, but I think he’s taken some good steps forward.
Jack Campbell: Well, he didn’t have a good debut in the tournament, giving up six goals in the first game. He admitted he was nervous and it was the team’s first game and there was a sloppy defensive performance in front of him. Once Campbell settled in he looked a lot better and made some nice saves. He bounced back from a bad start in that game and I’m sure he’ll bounce back in the next game and over the course of the season.
Philip Larsen: I thought he was one of the best players – perhaps the best player - on the ice in the 4-1 win over the St. Louis on Sunday. He, like the rest of the group, needed a game to get settled in and once Larsen did he was excellent. He moved the puck really well and he was silky smooth out there. He looked in command while running the Stars power play from the point. I thought he got targeted with some physical play in both games and never backed down. I think he caught the eyes of a lot of people on Sunday. He was that good.
Tyler Beskorowany: He was rock solid in his first game tournament. He did the same thing last year, turning in a stellar performance in his first game. I think a lot of people forget about Beskorowany when it comes to the Stars goaltending mix. He’s a very good goalie with great size and a lot of potential. His puckhandling could use some work, but I think all the tools are there. He’s a competitive kid. It’s going to be interesting to see how he does in his first pro season.
Tomas Vincour: He scored a goal in each game and he scored both of them by going to the net. That made him noticeable. He had a good tournament last year too. He’s got that power forward look to him and he’s got some nice skills. He’s always around things. He’ll probably plan in Cedar Park this season, so it will be interesting to see how it goes for him.
Ondrej Roman: He’s looked good. He’s highly skilled, a very good play maker and makes pretty good decisions with the puck. He looks like he pushes the pace more than he did a couple years ago. He played some point on the power play and didn’t look out of place. He’s really come along nicely since the last time I saw him play. I’ve always liked him and I like him even more after watching him over the weekend.
Sean Backman: I was impressed by the smallish right wing. The Stars signed him as a free agent out of Yale, where he put up some nice offensive numbers. He’s got some speed, skill and a shoot first mentality. He seldom passes up a chance to shoot the puck and he’s not afraid to try to make something happen in the offensive end.
Tristan King: He had an excellent game in the win over St. Louis on Sunday. He had two points (one goal, one assist) and should have had an assist on the Stars’ first goal as well. In other words, he played a role in three of the team’s four goals. He’s got some really nice offensive tools. The word is he’s got to work on playing a complete game, but his skill really stands out.
Matt Tassone: He’s signed with the Texas Stars but he’s still on Dallas’ radar. He’s been physical and made some noise, either with some good hits or his constant chatter out there. It looks like those shoulder and neck injuries haven’t taken any of the bite out of his game. He’s a gritty guy with some good skill. I think he’s made a good impression.
It's the first couple minutes of the game and it includes Dallas' first goal, which was scored by Tomas Vincour just 11 seconds into the contest.
I would have done more, but it takes a long time to upload video with the internet connection I have up here.
“We were a different team today than we were yesterday,” said Stars defenseman Philip Larsen.
After getting blitzed early in a 6-1 loss to Detroit on Saturday, it was the Stars who struck early this time around.
Tomas Vincour scored just 11 seconds into the game off a deflection of an Etienne Boutet point shot to give the Stars an early lead.
“We could use that kind of pick-me-up after getting drubbed 6-1 the night before,” said Texas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan, who is coaching the prospects at the tournament.
Michael Neal scored off a sharp angle shot from the left circle at 4:48 of the first to extend the lead in what was an impressive first period for the Stars, who outshot St. Louis 16-8 and took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
“We came out harder, skating all over the ice, outworking them and forcing them to take a lot of penalties,” said Larsen. “We got the momentum with the power plays and they got a little tired.”
A majority of those power plays came in the second period but the Stars were unable to extend their lead. They did get a power play goal early in the third period to make it a 3-1 game when Tristan King, who had one goal and one assist on the afternoon, roofed a shot off the rush. Kevin King scored with just under six minutes left, scoring on a snap shot from the slot, to round out the scoring for the Stars.
The defensive problems that plagued the team were not evident Sunday.
“There were some things we talked about defensively and I thought it started to mesh for the guys," said Gulutzan.
“Yesterday was our first game and we haven’t practiced too much and we’ve got a new system, so it was a little bit loose on the ice,” said Larsen. “The more you play the system the more confident you are going to feel.”
The goaltending was excellent. Beskorowany stopped 26 of 27 shots and several were sharp ones.
“He was really calm. I think he looked really calm,” said Gulutzan “He made a big save when it was 2-1 when a guy got around our defense. It was a big save. It’s not always the saves, it’s the timing of the saves and that save came up big time for us.”
That save came in the second period on a shorthanded chance by the Blues. Beskorowany made a great glove save on a point blank chance midway through the third period and the Stars up 3-1 in the game.
“Overall I thought it was a good effort on my part,” Beskorowany said. “There were a couple of turnovers in my own end playing the puck. There was some miscommunication and it cost me a goal, but you learn from it and I’ll bounce back from it and not make the same mistake.”
And Sunday’s game was a good bounce back effort for the Stars prospects, who showed a lot of fight in the game as well. There were four fights and several scrums.
“I thought they played hard, they played disciplined, they played together and those are things we are looking for in this organization - that team togetherness," said Gulutzan. "They stuck up for each other."
Said Beskorowany: “I think we are starting to jell as a team and it’s starting to show on the ice.”
The Stars have a practice day on Monday and play Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Sunday’s boxscore is here.
Tristan King scored off the rush early in the third to make it a 3-1 game and Kevin King scored from the slot to make it 4-1.
Tyler Beskorowany stopped 12 shots in the period, including a great glove save on a point blank shot with just over nine minutes remaining. Beskorowany ended up with 26 saves on 27 shots. It was a very solid game for Beskorwany.
Philip Larsen had a real strong game for the Stars as did Tristan King.
I am going down for some postgame comments and I will have more later.
The Stars had a lot of power play time in the period, getting five chances with the man-advantage including 48 seconds of five-on-three time. The created some good chances but not many shots and no goals.
I thought Philip Larsen did a nice job at times running things from the point and Scott Glennie did some great working along the board retrieving pucks, but they couldn't get anything done.
Tyler Beskorowany came up big after a turnover led to a good shorthanded chance for the Blues. Jace Coyle made a nice play to break up what looked like a shorthanded breakaway chance late in the period.
The Stars outshot the Blues 8-7 in the second and have a 24-15 shots advantage for the game.
The Stars scored just 11 seconds into the game when Etienne Boutet put a shot on net from the left point and Tomas Vincour redirected it home. Michael Neal scored 4:48 into the game to make it 2-0, tallying from the bottom of the left circle off the rush.
Tyler Beskorowany looked sharp in stopping seven of eight shots in the period. He made some nice saves on a St. Louis power play and the only goal against him came on a wide open shot from the slot by Josh Shalla.
Couple of fights in the period. Jordie Benn went at it with Stefan Della Rovere in a pretty spirited scrap. Tristan King got a fighting major along with St. Louis' Michael D'Orazio, but I don't think King ever threw a punch or if he did I didn't see it.
Tyler Beskorowany will get the start in goal with Jack Campbell backing up.
“I’m disappointed. I let my nerves get the best of me too often tonight and I kind of let the team down,” Campbell, the Stars 1st round pick (11th overall) in this summer’s draft, said after the game. “I am looking forward to that next start and hopefully helping the guys out the best I can.”
For the game, Campbell made 32 saves on 38 shots. He got stronger as the game went along and stopped 25 of 27 shots over the final two periods.
“Once I settled down after the first period I felt like I belonged out there and helped out the team the best I could,” Campbell said. “At the same time, it’s not easy to accept that game. … Overall, I think I learned a lot and I think it’s going to make me better.”
Texas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan, who is guiding the Stars prospects at the tournament, said the play in front of Campbell was the bigger problem in the game.
“We didn’t play very well,” Gulutzan said. “We went over our defensive zone coverage here. Maybe it was different than some of these guys have played or maybe I didn’t explain it to them well enough. We were a little suspect in our defensive zone coverage.
“It cost us some Grade A chances. When you give up 10, 20 Grade A chances you are going to get some goals against you no matter how many saves your goalie makes. … [Campbell] saw quality rubber. There’s a difference between shots and quality shots and he got the majority of quality shots.”
Right wing Tomas Vincour scored the lone goal for the Stars, tallying on a wrap-around in the first period that cut Detroit’s lead in the game to 3-1.
The Stars play St. Louis Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Central time.
The box score from Saturday's game is here.
Detroit outshot the Stars 38-18 in the game. Jack Campbell got the start for the Stars and made 32 saves. He was under pressure for most of the game. He made some good saves, got beat by some good shots and probably would like to have a couple of the goals back. Not the start he wanted.
Tomas Vincour scored the only goal for the Stars, who fell behind 3-0 in the first six minutes of the game and were on their heels the rest of the way. They got outplayed thoroughly in the game. It was an impressive showing by the Red Wings, who looked sharp from the start.
Going to go down to see if I can get some postgame comments and will have more a little later.
A better period for Jack Campbell, who was under siege at times in the period and came up with some big stops. He had one sequence where he lost his stick and was facing heavy pressure and still got through it.
The official scoresheet had the shots as 15-5 in favor of Detroit in the second. The Stars had a great chance when Brad Ross set up Sean Backman on a breakaway, but Backman couldn't cash in. Backman's looked impressive. He's the free agent signing out of Yale. Ross, a tryout player, has looked good at times as well. Matt Tassone centered those two late in the period.
A couple of other notes, Philip Larsen and Ondrej Roman played the point together on one of the Stars' power plays. Larsen really got rocked along the boards in the second period. He looked a little wonky on the bench, but he didn't miss his next shift. Mathieu Tousignant has been Mathieu Tousignant - always trying to stir things up.
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