Tier 1 Elite Super Showcase Troy Michigan

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Tier 1 Elite Super Showcase Troy Michigan November 21, 2012 7:13 AM

On Saturday the 17th, I went down to Troy Michigan to scout the Tier 1 Elite Midget Super Showcase being hosted by the Oakland Grizzlies. Having been to many of the Tier 1 events over the years I knew I could expect to see some of the best AAA players from across the country. What suprised me a little was just how well organized this particular event was compared to others I had been to in the past.

The Grizzlies, ran a well oiled machine. Nearly every game went off on time, there seemed to be no confusion as to referee assignments or locaker room assignments. In an event this size you normally would expect some of that, but this event looked to be pulled off without a hitch.

Twenty four teams from all corners of the United States were present with family in tow for many players. Crowds were fairly decent for general fan attendance, and with the exception of only a few games, teams were evenly matched. Even those teams that had weaker rosters, still showed enough talent to be respectable.

Over the course of two days I was able to catch parts of 36 games. With four sheets of ice, and four games going on at the same time, it is a matter of sprinting from rink to rink in between periods.

At this event there were a few teams that you simply did not want to miss out on seeing. St. Louis Blues, Cleveland Barons, Victory Honda, Team Comcast, Philly Jr. Flyers, Buffalo Sabres, and the Ohio Blue Jackets were on my list and lists of the other scouts attending.

In terms of scouting, this event was one of the best Tier 1 events attended in recent memory. At least a dozen NCAA programs were present, nearly every USHL team sent a scout, the BCHL was represented, and a few NAHL teams sent staff as well. Players definitely got the exposure and opportunity to be seen that the Tier 1 league is all about.

The scouts did not leave disappointed either. A number of players were pulled out of dressing rooms after games, a number of "sit downs" took place, and several relative unknowns made names for themselves.

One such player that is begining to make a name for himself is Rockey Mountain Rough Riders Center Reed Gregory. A 1995 DOB, Gregory exhibited USHL level speed and a very refined skill set in the faceoff circle. Though the Rough Riders are not a team that is buring up the standings, they are well coached, and system oriented. Ten players on this team are 1995 DOB’s, and the experience they are getting this season should pay off next season if they do not have too many players make the move to junior next season. Reed Gregory is defintely a player that the USHL and D-1 programs are watching as you could see them make their way to each Rough Rider game.

Another player of note was 1996 DOB player Austin Pooley of the Ohio Blue Jackets. Pooley exhibited a very high level hockey I.Q., with a skill set to match his smarts. Smooth skating, strong, and an elite level passer, Pooley is a cant miss D-1 prospect at this point.

Team Comcasts Dwyer Tschantz was a player a colleague had asked me to watch, and I am glad I did. Billed as a skilled power forward, he did not disappoint. Another 1995 DOB player that exhibited good footwork, power and a high hockey I.Q., Tschantz exhibited all the tools of a player who could crack a USHL lineup next season.

While taking notes on nearly 150 players that should make USHL rosters in the next two seasons, I left the showcase completely impressed with this years teams. Though there were many more players I would like to write about in this article, time does not allow me to do so. That said, I will be at many more Tier 1 games throughout the season and will make this report a regular part of TJHN.

By Joseph Kolodziej

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