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Traverse City Prospect Tournament Preview and Open Thread

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NHL: JUN 27 Columbus Blue Jackets Development Camp Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Today is the start of the annual Traverse City Prospect Tournament in Michigan. The tournament takes place from September 6th to the 10th at Centre Ice Arena. All games will be streamed at BlueJackets.com and on Fox Sports Go.

The schedule of this week’s games is below.

Friday September 6: 3:30 Pm at New York Rangers (West Rink)
Saturday September 7th – 6:30 pm vs Minnestoa Wild (David’s Rink)
Sunday September 8th – off day
Monday September 9th – 2pm at Dallas Stars
Tuesday September 10th – Opponent, Time, and Rink TBD

The Jackets prospects will be coached by Cleveland Monsters’ coaches Mike Eaves, Steve McCarthy, and Trent Vogelhuber. Joining them behind the benches will be Blue Jackets’ Development Coaches Greg Campbell and Jarkko Ruutu.

There are a good number of Free Agency Invites on this year’s roster. Derek Barach is the one you want to keep your on during the tournament. After finishing up his college career at Mercyhurst in March 2019, Barach was an integral part of the Monsters playoff push. Don’t let his small stature fool you. Barach plays a big game.

Speaking of big game, Elvis Merzlikins and his agent talked a big game in reference to his skills. So, the tournament will be a chance for Merzlikins to show the Jackets and their fans why he is worth the time and money. Plus, this time before training camp will allow him to shake off any rust that may be on the wheels.

As we know, the Blue Jackets defense is slightly shaky from top to bottom. This weekend will allow the Jackets to assess the future of their defense. Five of the nine defenders on the roster are free agent invites. The most notable is Justin Bergeron from the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL. He had a breakout 2018-19 season scoring 57 points (16g, 41a) over 65 games. Bergeron’s +56 is pretty impressive as well. If he plays well in the tournament, I would be surprised if Bergeron receives an invite to training camp or an AHL contract with the Monsters.

Below is the full roster for the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2019 Traverse City Prospect Tournament.

Columbus Blue Jackets