The Stars took part in the annual prospect tournament in Traverse City this week. It was a bit of a mixed bag for the young guns. The Stars went 1-3, losing to the Red Wings (5-4), CBJ (5-3), and Toronto (7-3), before finally turning around and achieving a 7-3 victory against the St. Louis Blues today.
It’s probably a good thing that, with the recent acquisition of Braden Holtby, the Stars have 4 NHL-caliber goaltenders. Jack Oettinger is expected to at least start the season in Cedar Park with Colton Point and Scheel and Poirier are likely to spend time with the Steelheads. The goaltending from the Stars youngsters Scheel and Poirier at the tournament might be most kindly described as shaky.
Adam Scheel, signed out of the University of North Dakota as an undrafted free agent last year, was pretty solid in his 12 starts for the Texas Stars. He had a challenging time at the prospect tournament Scheel had a GAA of 6.9 and a save percentage of 0.686. He was pulled from his two starts and his save percentage was the worst in the tournament by quite some distance. Remi Poirier was a little more solid, posting an 0.849 save percentage with a GAA of 0.871. Neither goaltender posted numbers that suggest they’ll be taking the quick route to the NHL.
Ryan Shea had a solid tournament, as might be expected from the oldest player on the team. Another player who stood out was the 2021 5th round pick, Jacob Holmes. The 6ft 1, 205lb defenseman will almost certainly return to the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL this year. He will certainly be a prospect to watch for Stars fans. Thomas Harley, the Stars’ most highly touted defensive prospect had some wobbles in the tournament defensively but did get a goal. He’ll be hoping to give a better showing at training camp next week.
The Stars 2021 first-round pick Wyatt Johnston was one of the real stand-outs of the tournament. He scored 4 goals in 4 games and chipped in with an assist. Johnston was a bit of an unknown quantity coming into the tournament. The OHL didn’t play last year which means it’s over a year since he played competitive hockey. The pick raised eyebrows in some corners but the Stars’ front office must be feeling pretty vindicated. Johnston put up comparable numbers to significantly older players and CBJ’s highly rated pick in the 2021 draft Cole Sillinger.
Riley Damiani, named the AHL rookie of the year last year, also had a good tournament. Damiani racked up a goal and 5 assists. Also catching the eye was Riley Tufte. The caveat with Tufte is that he was a 2016 draft pick and is the highest-picked player in that draft yet to play an NHL game. Time will tell if the admittedly outsize Tufte has finally begun to find his game after a couple of relatively solid seasons in the AHL.
Photo Credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images