Today I found myself watching some of the Traverse City Prospect Tournament as I am sure many other hockey starved fans have as well. While watching it got me thinking. Is it better to take your rookies to a tournament like this or is it better to do as the Caps do and have just one game for the rookies.
Personally I think that the way the Caps do it is better especially for a team like the Caps that don’t have a whole lot of spots to fill with rookies. I think with the camp and the one game as well as all of the film from previous years is enough to decide which prospects the team wants to bring to regular camp. While it is nice to see if Eakin can dominate the Flyers like he did last year that isn’t what he is going to be doing if he makes the team. We know that against guys his age he can be great we have several years in juniors to know that. What the team needs to know is can he do what his job is against bigger competition and prospect games are nothing more then junior and young AHL all star games. I think that is part of the reason why the Caps stopped going to the Prospect Tournament, they won it in 2002.
I can see how getting to see a lot of game situations would help in making a decision between say Cody Eakin and Mattas Sjogren who have never played against the same competition would help the coaching staff but I feel that both should get a few games in the normal preseason and that is a better indicator then what is done against lower competition that they won’t see in the NHL.