Traverse City Invitees

More on the eight forward invitees announced today for the Traverse City prospect tournament:

C Ian Duval, 6'0" 180 lbs, Calgary (WHL)

Duval, 20, split last season between Regina and Calgary of the WHL. He helped the Hitmen advance all the way to the WHL Eastern Conference Final.

2006-2007 Regina/Calgary (WHL), 68 GP, 21-20-41, 56 PIM, +4

LW Rob Klinkhammer, 6'3" 209 lbs, Brandon (WHL)

At 21 years old after having played for no less than four WHL teams, Klinkhammer is the closest thing to a journeyman you'll ever see in junior hockey. The big winger split last season between Seattle, Portland, and Brandon.

2006-2007 Seattle, Portland, Brandon (WHL), 66 GP, 33-40-73, 108 PIM, -5

LW John Kurtz, 6'2" 185 lbs, Windsor (OHL)

John Kurtz we hardly knew ye? Reports out of Windsor yesterday claimed the 19 year old Kurtz had turned down the Lightning's offer to play for the Red Wings prospect team in Traverse City. We shall see.

2006-2007 Windsor (OHL), 58 GP, 8-7-15, 31 PIM, -15

RW/C Colby Pridham, 5'11" 175 lbs, Halifax (QMJHL)

Matthew Wuest of the Halifax News has a good blog profile of Pridham, who last season as a 19 year old rookie went from anonymity to playing on the Mooseheads' top line and earning an assistant captaincy. Now 20, Pridham is looking to defy the odds again and win a contract with Tampa Bay.

2006-2007 Halifax (QMJHL), 65 GP, 23-36-59, 59 PIM

C Dean Ouellet, 5'11" 172 lbs, Cape Breton (QMJHL)

Who likes video?

Ouellet, 20, confirmed he would be joining the Lightning at Traverse City a month ago. He is yet another hard working character player who comes to the tournament after having worn the "A" for his club last season.

2006-2007 Cape Breton (QMJHL), 70 GP, 40-45-85, 115 PIM

C Jason Reese, 5'10" 177 lbs, Moose Jaw (WHL)

Reese split last year between Vancouver and Moose Jaw of the WHL after being dealt by the Lumberjacks in the blockbuster trade that sent Florida first round pick Kenndal McArdle to Vancouver. The 19 year old Oregon native scored 30 goals last year.

2006-2007 Vancouver/Moose Jaw (WHL), 73 GP, 30-40-70, 50 PIM, +28

C Daine Todd, 5'10" 169 lbs, Medicine Hat (WHL)

Todd, who missed all but 5 regular season games for the Tigers, returned late in the year to help Medicine Hat advance all the way to the Memorial Cup Final. At just 169 lbs, the 20 year old is quick and surprisingly physical on the forecheck. In his last full season of hockey Todd had 14 goals and 44 points in 59 games.

2006-2007 Medicine Hat (WHL), 5 GP, 3-2-5, 4 PIM, +3

LW Colton Yellow Horn, 5'7" 175 lbs, Tri-City (WHL)

Colton Yellow Horn comes to Traverse City having already attended full training camp for Toronto and Edmonton the past two years. Although quite short at 5'7", Yellow Horn is a stocky, strong on his skates, possesses a heavy shot, and has great puck distributing skills. Yellow Horn has tallied 100 goals and 238 points in 196 games over the past three seasons. If the Lightning are looking for instant scoring help in Norfolk, might they consider employing the "Brocket Rocket?"

2006-2007 Tri-City (WHL), 59 GP, 40-37-77, 57 PIM, +13

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This Will Be Interesting

I will be following this tournament with some interest especially with the invitees. I think it would be fair to say that none of them are destined for Tampa this year. But there may be some in this group that could wind up in Norfolk and/or Mississippi.

Norfolk is just about at its limit for the number of veterans it can carry. So absent a free agent, AHL only contract of a player who is not classified a veteran, some roster spots could be filled by some on this list. There are some on this list who seem to have some offensive potential.

This tournament will allow the Bolts to see how these guys handle playing against stepped up competition. From that could come some invitations to either the Bolts camp or the ADs camp.

We will just have to see.

I would expect Femenella and

I would expect Femenella and Collins to get minor league contracts and play next season in Mississippi. Collins probably has not shot at getting an NHL deal next summer but Femenella might have an outside shot considering Elliot's the only other pure enforcer prospect in the system.

Of the invitees, I could see one more contract being handed out. Maybe even an NHL entry level deal if they really shine. I'm interested to see what Ouellet, Reese, and Yellow Horn do.

That said, the Lightning signed Maxime Boisclair last season to a minor league deal and he did precious little in his recalls to Springfield. These guys are better skaters than Boisclair though.

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