Every year select NHL teams compete in a pre-season tournament showcasing their newly acquired talent in order to analyze them more closely in this highly competitive environment. Held in Traverse City, Michigan, this five-day, eight-team tournament is slated to begin on September 11th.
Basically a shortened version of a season and playoff, this tournament allows the teams involved to get a closer look at their young and up-and-coming talent.
Teams are divided into two divisions for a three-day round robin tournament, then ranked by their win-loss records for final placement in seventh, fifth, third and Championship games on the final day. The winning team is presented with a plaque to take home and their name engraved onto a permanent trophy displayed year-round at Center I.C.E. Arena. This year’s tournament will be held September 11, 12, 14 and 15.
Seven of the eight teams participating in the Traverse City tournament for the past three years will be returning for another run along with first time participant the Carolina Hurricanes. Other than the host team Detroit Red Wings, the remaining teams in the tournament include: New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis Blues and the 2009 champion Dallas Stars who defeated the Atlanta Thrashers prospects 8-3 in the final game.
This year marks the 12th annual Traverse City tournament held at the Center I.C.E. Arena. Over the years many NHL stars fought their way onto their team rosters beginning with this tournament. Traverse City has seen the likes of Henrik Zetterburg, Pavel Datsyuk, Dany Heatley, Niklas Kronwall, Ilya Kovalchuck and just last year James Neal.
This year the New Rangers hope to re-gain their 2007 champion status sending top prospects such as Dylan McIlrath, Ryan Bourque, Ryan McDonagh, Christian Thomas, Jason Wilson, Randy McNaught and Andrew Yogan just to name a few. Most eyes will be on McIlrath, McDonagh and Bourque to be the main contributors in the Rangers’ team scoring.
With offensive speed and defensive size, the Rangers prospects have an excellent chance to have their names engraved on the 2010 Traverse City Tournament Trophy. Over the past few weeks Ryan Bourque has displayed his scoring ability in the QMJHL scoring 10 points in only four games.