I’m a bit delirious on 800 mg of Ibuprofen so I apologize in advance if any of this doesn’t make sense.
The Traverse City tournament kicked off yesterday. The Dallas Stars sent their young to play the New York Rangers. The Stars would go on to win 7-5 in a predictably weird game between inexperienced professionals.
Many Stars stood out, but this was the Miro Heiskanen show. If you had any doubt about the quality of Liiga or the level of competition he faced last year go back and watch this game. After dominating grown men in Liiga and the Olympics, the 18-20 year olds had no change of getting on his level on either side.
Adam Mascherin, Riley Damiani, Jakob Stenqvist, Jermaine Loewen, John Nyberg, Ty Dellandrea, Roope Hintz, Nick Caamano, Tony Calderone, and Jason Robertson all showed something. This is a pretty good roster for a tournament like this. It’s important to keep in mind that the Stars NCAA prospects aren’t even here. This isn’t their full complement of prospects.
The system isn’t bad folks.
On to the gifs…
Nick Caamano scored after all of the Rangers prospects forgot he existed. Tony Calderone won a puck battle before beating most of the Rangers prospects on the ice with a pass.
Stars first round pick Ty Dellandrea whipped this pass across the top of the offensive zone on an entry.
Jason Robertson stole this puck at the blueline then skated in for a scoring chance.
Jakob Stenqvist had a big period. Here he is scoring on the powerplay.
On the next shift he had this opportunity.
In his own end I was really impressed with this pass. He fired this puck under pressure with some authority avoid any defensive problems.
Hits are fun. Here are some hits. Texas Stars forward Joel L’Esperance trucked a Ranger defender early in the period.
Jermaine Loewen got a piece of a Ranger too.
I saved the best for last. Welcome to Miro’s corner. Here he is casually entering the zone and gliding sideways for a simple shot.
Early in the period Heiskanen exited the zone with ease while sucking in a Ranger forward.
No big deal here, he’s just under pressure then pulls a spin move to avoid it.
He rang one off the post too.
Roope Hintz showed off his hands early in the period with this slick move to get into the slot.
Adam Mascherin channeled his inner Robertson with this steal that led to a chance for the Stars.
Jermaine Loewen tried to kill a Ranger which led to Curtis Douglas setting up a chance in the slot.
Riley Damiani showed off some playmaking ability as the period moved along with two nice passes in scoring areas.
This second pass was later in the period.
Stenqvist showed off the passing ability again with this pass under pressure at the offensive blueline.
Heiskanen did stuff like this a lot at the Olympics. He senses pressure so he skates with the puck before reversing the exit back to John Nyberg who can then exit easily.
You may have also seen that Heiskanen scored a goal. The entire play was gorgeous, and this is probably the easiest assist of Robertson’s life.
The third had a lot of goals but, the Stars weren’t any more dominant than they had been. The Rangers goaltending and defensive positioning just collapsed.
Robertson’s line with Dellandrea and Adam Mascherin had a very nice period. Here is Robertson getting a prime scoring chance off in the slot.
Mascherin put his hands on display for this Adult Move into scoring position.
Mascherin also had a power play goal in the period from about the same spot as that move.
Nyberg made a couple of plays in the period. Normally you won’t see Nyberg since he’s playing the defensive foil to Heiskanen, but this flip almost led to a breakaway for Nick Caamano.
Nyberg took this pass from Heiskanen and turned it into a shot from the low slot for a teammate with a nice pass of his own.
The Rangers began exposing Stenqvist a bit in the period, or rather he began exposing himself defensively. In this gif he’s the RD in front who completely lost his man.
In this gif he drifts way too far to the opposite side of the rink before Damiani sprints over to cover for him. Stenqvist is at the top of the left faceoff circle engaging a Ranger physically for…reasons.
That was fun. Game two is tonight against the baby Red Wings.