Traverse City Team Taking Shape

With Jay Feaster's announcement of which players will be invited to join the Lightning's Traverse City prospect team, I figured I'd take a rough stab at what the roster will look like. To the best of my knowledge, players are only elligible to play in Traverse City twice, making players like [url=mike-egener]Mike Egener[/url] and [url=andy-rogers]Andy Rogers[/url] ineligible to play this year. The rule narrows the field of potential candidates considerably, which is why you see so many free agent forwards invited to the camp this year. LW [url=radek-smolenak]Radek Smolenak[/url] RW [url=marek-kvapil]Marek Kvapil[/url] RW [url=stanislav-lascek]Stanislav Lascek[/url] C [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones[/url] C/W [url=chris-lawrence]Chris Lawrence[/url] RW Marek Bartanus RW Maxime Boisclair* RW Ryan Gibbons* C David Desharnais** LW/C Brian Woolger** RW Torrie Wheat** C Todd Griffith** LW Travis Fuller** D [url=matt-smaby]Matt Smaby[/url] D [url=vladimir-mihalik]Vladimir Mihalik[/url] D [url=jay-rosehill]Jay Rosehill[/url] D [url=pj-atherton]PJ Atherton[/url]* D Brady Greco D [url=dane-crowley]Dane Crowley[/url] D Clayton Barthel** G [url=karri-ramo]Karri Ramo[/url] G [url=riku-helenius]Riku Helenius[/url] G [url=kevin-beech]Kevin Beech[/url] G [url=morgan-cey]Morgan Cey[/url]??? [i]*=Springfield Falcons Contract Player[/i] [i]**=Free Agent Invitee[/i] The only spot I'm really uncertain of is who will be the fourth goaltender, if there is one. The team carried four goalies in Traverse City last year but they only carried three in prior seasons. If they carry four, I believe Cey is eligible only having played once and he would certainly make a strong quartet of netminders. The Lightning plan on bringing Riku Helenius to the camp and we've been told that Dane Crowley will be there as well. The strength of the team will be from the net out, but to win the tournament they will have to rely heavily on forwards like Smolenak, Jones, Lascek and Kvapil to step up and score at a better clip than they did at prospect camp. Looking at the invitees to Springfield Falcons camp, Kevin Croxton looks to me to have a good shot at landing a contract and ending up in Johnstown along with two or three of the forwards heading to Traverse City. Given the team's lack of center depth, players like David Desharnais and Brian Woolger should get long hard looks. The real battle though could be between Don Grover and Jon D'Aversa on the blueline. If Doug Andress doesn't re-sign with Johnstown, the Chiefs will desperately need a puckmover to be successful next season. Grover has already shown he can handle that role at the UHL level, which isn't altogether much lower than the ECHL but D'Aversa probably has more upside. The decision not to take Josh Disher to Traverse City is either a condemnation of his performance at the camp, or a strong indication the team is going to go with three goalies.

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Johnstown

I suspect the guys that fill the Johnstown roster will be guys that are their to help them win versus devloping for higher roles with the Lightning. Of the unsigned forwards still in the hunt I believe the trio of Desharnais, Wheat and Woolger are the only ones that could truly earn prospect status on the big clubs' radar. I agree with you Pete that Croxton is a likely signee as well as Grover. Croxton is about to turn 24, Grover is 23, Oullette 2and Czuy are 24. D'Aversa though is only 20 and probably got caught up in a numbers game at TC. Maybe would have beat out Greco had Brady performed down here. All the TC guys are between 19 & 21. I suspect the onus is on those younger guys to achieve some sort of prospect status with the big club before they take a job from one of the older guys.

Rosehill

I haven't gone back and checked, but someone PMed me and let me know Rosehill might have already played in TC twice which may limit him from playing again, in which case I don't think they'll go with just six d-men.

Keller

Is Keller on the inelligible list?

Traverse City team Eligibility

I'm pretty sure that Ranger & Henrich went to 3 camps based on the following from a Hockey's Future Article which refers to the 2004 camp "Joining Egener as second year Traverse City veterans are Canadian Hockey League offensive phenoms Doug O'Brien and Paul Ranger. Egener, O'Brien, and Ranger all signed three-year rookie contracts with Tampa this summer, and are expected to patrol the AHL Springfield Falcon blueline this year as first year pros." If 2004 was their second year, then 2005 would have been their third camp. I also found this in the CBA but not sure how it relates to the prospect (Traverse City) camp or the camp that was held last week for that matter: Article 15.9 "Conditioning Camp. In each off season, a Club may hold one conditioning camp (a "conditioning Camp) for Unsigned Draft Choices and any Player in the Entry Level System with less than 120 NHL Games played. ..."

Blast from the Past

HF's review of the 2004 TC tourney (by BP's own Timothy Bennett): Lightning 2004 Traverse City review with GM Jay Feaster

Traverse City Roster

www.redwingscentral.com/camps/2006-07/rosters/TampaBay.html

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