The Kids Are Gonna Be Alright

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                With the NHL season training camps opening today, I figured today would be a good time to give a quick recap of the Traverse City Prospect Tournament that occurred last weekend between the Blue Jackets, Maple Leafs, Stars, and Red Wings. The Traverse City Prospect Tournament has been an annual tournament for teams’ prospects to get a chance to show what they can do competitively against other NHL prospects before NHL training Camp officially opens.

                This is the Blue Jackets 21st time competing in Traverse City, winning the tournament on 5 occasions, most recent being in 2018. With high hopes for this coming season, our prospect pool (#2 Ranked per looked to win the tournament again and prove when they come so highly praised.

                Game 1 occurred on Thursday between the Blue Jackets and the Maple Leafs. Justin Pearson and Jordan Dumais both scored in the first 8 minutes. Malatesta scored following a quick intermission and rink change due to issues at the first rink. Making it 3-0 at the end of the first.

                Stanislav Svozil found the back of the net on a the first of three power-play goals to extend the lead to 4-0. Cameron Butler scored off a pass from Tyler Peddle making it 5-0. This would be the score heading into the 3rd period of action.

                Ryan Tverberg ended Cajan, and the Jackets hopes for a shutout, making the score 5-1. Hunter McKown scored the second power-play goal for the Jackets making it 6-1. The Toronto Maple Leafs never gave up, however, netting two more goals off scrambles near the crease, making it 6-3. Jordan Dumais scored his second goal of the day, and the third power-play goal for the Jackets, making the score 7-3. This would end up being the final score. Columbus scored on all 3 of their power-plays and killed off all 4 of their penalty kills.


Game 2 occurred Saturday afternoon between the Blue Jackets and the Detroit Red Wings. The Jackets looked slow in the 1st period allowing the Wings to get the jump on them 3-0, before the 3rd Overall pick from this summer’s draft scored his first goal in a Blue Jacket Uniform. Adam Fantilli’s first goal in Union Blue came on the power play with 3:03 left in the 1st. Fantilli showed impressive stick work and vision dekeing through two Red Wing defenders and flipping a spectacular back hand over Sebastain Cossa.

                1:30 into the second period Detroit tallied another making it 4-1. The Blue Jacket Prospect Team didn’t take this lying down, scoring 5 goals in 4 mins and 50 seconds to take total control of the game. Fantilli found Defenseman David Jiricek streaking down the middle, making it 4-2. Two more powerplay goals would tie the game up, 4-4. Jordan Dumais scored on a rebound and James Malatesta hit a one-timer to tie the game up. Dumais and Malatesta would score again to increase the lead to 6-4. Detroit pulled Cossa, hoping to control the sieve but moments later, Tyler Peddle hit a one-timer passed Lukas Matecha, and Fantilli added another Power play goal, making the score 8-4. Matecha settled the game down, not allowing another goal in the second, and Hanas scored for Detroit ending the frame at 8-5.

                The Red Wings and Blue Jackets played tit-for-tat on goals in the final frame. Just 1:06 seconds into the 3rd period Elmer Soderblom scored, moments later Stanislav Svozil and the Jackets returned the favor on a sharp angled shot. Nic Sima made it 9-7, but with 1:51 seconds left in the game Adam Fantilli scores an Empty netter, earning himself a hat-trick for the game. Cameron Butler and Corson Ceulemans both dropped the gloves.  Final Score: 10-7.

                Game 3 was Sunday afternoon between the Blue Jackets and the Dallas Stars. The Jackets elected to sit Fantilli, Dumais. And Mateychuk. The Stars opened the scoring 1:09 into the 1st Period as a shot from Artem Grushnikov snuck past Pavel Cajan. Cajan would finish with 16 saves in the first period. The Blue Jackets tied the score at 1, at the 9:36 mark when Kocha Delic scored off a feed from Stanislav Svozil. The 1st Period ended at 1-1.

                Dallas needed just 47 seconds to retake the lead as Logan Stankoven scored on the power-play. Columbus, however, would not be silenced so easily, as they scored two goals 2:23 minutes apart to take their only lead of the game. Cameron Butler deflected a shot from Corson Ceulemans’ shot. In the final minute of the second period, highly anticiapated prospect Dmitri Voronkov scored his first goal in a Blue Jackets sweater on a sweet breakaway. The period ended 3-2.

                Unfortunately, that’s where the Blue Jackets scoring would come to an end on this Sunday morning. 1:59 into the final period Dallas would tie the game with a shot from Gavin White, beating Nolan Lalonde, 49 seconds later Francesco Arcuri scored to take the lead, and never giving it back. Matthew Seminoff and Chase Wheatcroft would score setting up a final score of 6-3.

                Despite losing the final game of the Traverse City Prospect Tournament, the Columbus Blue Jackets walked away with a win for the whole tournament. The 3 leading scorers of the tournament were all Blue Jackets: Dumais (4-4-8), Fantilli (3-4-7) and Mateychuk (0-7-7). Columbus’ power play was 7-13 for the tournament, however, they were 7-9 for the first two games. All in all, the Blue Jackets prospects look great during their tournament. Training Camp has opened. All the prospects in this tournament have been invited to participate, it will be interesting to see if there are any surprises on who will make the final roster.

                The Jackets take the ice on Sunday 9/24 for an actual competitive hockey for split-squad action against the Pittsburgh Penguins, game times of 1pm @ PPG Paints Arena and 7pm @ Nationwide Arena. Personally, I’m excited for this season. I hope we can move past this Babcock drama, and Pascal Vincent can put a good quality team on the ice.

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