COMMENTARY | The Detroit Red Wings hosted the annual Prospects Tournament this year in Traverse City. After going 3-0 in pool play, the Red Wings defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 on Monday, September 9 to capture the club's first Prospects Tournament title.
First-round pick in the 2013 draft, Anthony Mantha, scored his first two goals of the tournament to lift the Red Wings in the championship game. Mantha finished tied for the team lead in points with Teemu Pulkkinen with five (three goals, two assists). Pulkkinen had one goal and four assists.
So what does this win mean for the Red Wings?
Obviously, it affirms that general manager Ken Holland has been drafting talented players who have a legitimate shot at making the Red Wings one day. Secondly, it shows the guys Holland did draft know how to win.
Granted, this is a Prospects Tournament, so it's not like these guys are playing against NHL-level talent. But to be able to win a tournament against your peers, whom also were drafted and are looking to earn spots with their respective NHL teams, it says a lot about Holland's draft strategy.
While a lot of the players on this team are guys like Martin Frk, Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul, who have been playing in junior leagues, they also had Tomas Jurco, Riley Sheahan and Max Nicastro, who were playing with the Grand Rapids Griffins last year.
The extra experience Jurco and Sheahan got in the AHL playoffs en route to winning the Calder Cup no doubt had a positive impact on their performance in this tournament.
This win doesn't mean the Red Wings are going to be dominating the NHL for years to come, but it's a good sign to know there is a steady stream of skillful players being brought up through the Red Wings' farm system.
Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Red Wings for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He also is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can follow Tom on Twitter.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Detroit Red Wings
- Anthony Mantha
- Teemu Pulkkinen
- Ken Holland