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Camping Season Starts Soon
Wings Prospects Tournament Kicks Off September 8th...
By Jason Kasiorek

The Detroit Red Wings annual Prospects Tournament in Traverse City signals the beginning of an important four weeks for the players in the farm system, and ultimately the Griffins. The first group of 22 players will take the ice on September 8th; a prospect team made up of several current and future Griffins, recent draft picks, and this year's group of young free agent tryouts. A week later, on the 15th, the number jumps over 60 as the rest of the contract players and a handful of Professional tryouts join the fun. The third session starts on the 25th when the Griffins start camp in Grand Rapids, blending yet another batch of tryouts with the players sent down by Detroit. Four grueling weeks to make an impression on the organization, for some the difference between playing in the NHL or the AHL, for others the chance to earn a pro contract.

Headlining the Prospects roster are several players slated for GR this season, Ryan Oulahen, Evan McGrath, Kyle Quincey, Jonathan Ericsson, Stefan Liv and Jimmy Howard. Also familiar to Griffins fans will be Ryan Keller and Jakub Kindl who both saw limited time in Grand Rapids last season.

There are seven forwards on the roster looking to turn a hot camp showing into a contract with either Detroit or Grand Rapids. The list is headlined by Reid Jorgensen who had a good camp last year, and Justin Donati who finished 6th in OHL scoring last season. Another dark horse could be Jamie Tardif a big winger who put up 40 goals in 62 games last season, and is the kind of natural goal-scorer that Griffins' GM McNamara likes. Rounding out the tryouts are the aforementioned Keller, Donati's twin brother Tyler, a speedy undersized forward with a nice touch, David Jarrum a large physical winger without a lot of offensive prowess, and Kevin Undershute a lanky forward who patterns his game after Ryan Smyth of Edmonton.

The rest of the roster is made up of the organization's recent draft that still have junior eligibility remaining, Darren Helm, Cory Emmerton, Jeff May, Bretton Stamler, Shawn Matthias, Logan Pyett, Jan Mursak, and the hulking Sergei Kolosov.