After another successful year for the Orange & Black in 2012-13, it figures to be a very busy fall for the veterans on the club.
The Tigers are sending no less than ten players from this year’s potential squad to various NHL Rookie/Training Camps and the Traverse City NHL Prospect Tournament.
Leading the way are those Tigers that have been drafted by NHL clubs, as Hunter Shinkaruk will be in camp with the Vancouver Canucks after being taken 24th overall in this year’s draft. Fellow draftee Marek Langhamer, selected 184th overall in the 7th round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft will be back in Phoenix after a successful stint in their development camp this summer.
“It’s the NHL team. It’s such a big honour to be there, a great experience,” says the Tigers import netminder.
Rounding out the drafted players making their way to rookie camp is defenceman Tyler Lewington, who was taken 204th overall by the Washington Capitals in this year’s draft.
“It’s a week long camp, then I think we have a scrimmage vs the (Philadelphia) Flyers,” says Lewington.
“I guess I’ll find out then if I make Main Camp or not.”
Lewington is not the only Tigers player taking part in Washington’s rookie camp, as Boston Leier also got the call to attend after a strong showing at the Caps summer development camp. Boston is looking to make his name known in NHL circles after a solid 2012-13 WHL season that saw him total 52 points.
“It’s going to be a pretty good experience for me,” notes Leier.
“I’m pretty lucky to get invited back after going there for the development camp. Lots of guys are going and it should be a pretty exciting time for all of us.”
Completing the list of Tigers to earn a trip to NHL Training Camps are defencemen Spenser Jensen, Ty Stanton and Kyle Becker. All three Tigers rearguards were ranked favourably prior to the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, but did not hear their names called, so they will no doubt be looking to make the most of their opportunity. Jensen is slated to head to San Jose’s camp, while Stanton is off to Winnipeg to take part in the Jets camp. Becker is set to take to the ice with the Anaheim Ducks.
Then there is the annual NHL Prospect Tournament held in Traverse City and hosted by the Detroit Red Wings. Three Tigers have received invites to that tournament, which sees eight different NHL clubs send their prospects to the event from September 5-9th.
Attending the tournament on behalf of the Tigers will be Miles Koules, who earned an invite with Minnesota after a positive rookie year in the WHL and a good performance at the Wild’s summer camp.
“I’m really excited,” says Koules.
“It was good to get to the development camp there in July and get acquainted with everyone in the system and I’m really looking forward to making a good impact (at Traverse City).”
Rounding out the Tigers presence in Traverse City will be a pair of Tiger forwards that bring different things to the table. Both Jake Doty and Curtis Valk will be at the NHL Prospects Tournament as hopefuls for the St. Louis Blues. Doty attended summer development camp with the Edmonton Oilers, but chose to attend camp with St. Louis sensing a bigger opportunity for young players in the Blues system.
As for Curtis Valk, his invite came shortly after the NHL draft. Valk described seeing “Missouri” come up on his phone’s call display, and the possibility that it might be an NHL team on the other line as a dream come true.
“After the draft I got a call from one of the St. Louis scouts and they asked if I want to play in Traverse City and of course I said yes. It’s exciting to get an opportunity like this, and I worked hard this summer towards it, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” says the Tigers sniper, who paced all Tabbies with 46 goals and 91 points last season.
“I’m just going to try and have fun with it, not get too nervous. I know a couple guys there, Jake (Doty) is coming too, that’ll be fun. We get to play against Miles there, so all in all have a lot of fun there and hope the best things come from it.”
** Note ** Tigers alum Cam Lanigan has recently appeared on Detroit’s website, so he may also be attending the 2013 Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament on behalf of the Red Wings.