The Detroit Red Wings prospect tournament isn’t an event that can make-or-break the future of a player, but it can be a way to make a name of oneself. There are a few players that have the potential to have themselves a breakout performance as early as the tourny.
I’m not including Lucas Raymond, Jonatan Berggren or Joe Veleno in this list. Although they aren’t yet truly proven as pros, all have relatively high expectations from fanbase: they’ve already made a name for themselves.
McIsaac’s past few years have been riddled with injuries – is this the yea the finally stays healthy?
The year he was drafted, McIsaac was averaging .72 points per game with the Halifax Mooseheads – as a defenseman. The year after, he improved production to 1.17 points per game. His trajectory continued to rise after rounding out aspects of his game and increasing consistency.
However, heading into the 2019-20 season, McIsaac underwent surgery on his right shoulder. He played only 28 games in the QMHL that year, dipping down to .68 ppg. McIsaac wrapped up 2020 by winning a gold medal with Team Canada, but again, was relatively limited in play.
Assigned to HPK in Finland, McIsaac had a chance to realign his trajectory in Europe, a commonplace move in the Red Wings organization. However, on his first shift with HPK, McIsaac reaggravated his shoulder, knocking him out for the rest of the Finnish season. He underwent yet another surgery on the right shoulder soon after.
McIsaac will have a full season with the Grand Rapids Griffins to illustrate his growth, but in the meantime, the tournament gives him a chance to set the tone for the year. Hopefully, with a breakout performance.
This will be the first time fans will get to see Cossa in action as a prospect in the organization. He’s still very early in his development, so a poor or mediocre performance shouldn’t be taken too seriously by the fans. But there’s an opportunity here for Cossa to set the standard for his play with Detroit, backing up his confidence about his draft slotting.
Although there isn’t a massive talent gap between the OHL and the prospect tournament, Cossa is going to be tested against a lethal top line: Raymond, Veleno and Berggren will provide an early test for the young goalie. An impressive showing defending against some of Detroit’s best offensive prospects in the tourny would certainly be enough to kickstart the Cossa hype train.
Tyutyayev is a fascinating prospect. It might be a bit bold to put a first year Griffin that was a 7th round pick in 2019 above more proven prospects like Donavan Sebrango.
But Steve Yzerman and the European scouts obviously like what they see in Tyutyayev. After working his way up to the VHL after a few years in the Russian minors, Tyutyayev was sent over to Belarus to continue developing. In 43 games, he managed to scored 11 goals and 21 assists.
In the prospect tournament, fans will finally get a look at the intriguing young Russian. As a 7th rounder with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, Tyutyayev might be in for a breakout performance in his first stretch of play on North American ice.