Now, the real fun can begin.
With NHL training camps set to open later this week, teams around the league took part in regional prospect tournaments, with events in Buffalo, Traverse City, Vegas, Florida, Penticton and Minnesota.
Many of the game’s top prospects took part, including Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Leo Carlsson, Simon Nemec and Logan Cooley. There were also a number of players on each team vying for training camp roster invites, or, in some cases, just somewhere to play for 2023-24.
You can’t take too much out of it. It’s still September hockey, and with varying levels of quality between players on each team, it’s not a true representation of a prospect’s value. But what we saw were NHL teams playing against other NHL teams, and you can’t go wrong with that.
I was in person for all three days of the Buffalo Prospect Challenge, but I also kept a close eye on other events going on around the league over the weekend. Here’s a look at 10 of the best players from a weekend of action:
Jordan Dumais, RW (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Dumais had the single-best performance of any player over the weekend, scoring two goals and adding four assists in a 10-7 win over Detroit – a game that saw the Red Wings take a 4-1 lead early. He also had two goals against Toronto in a 7-3 win, giving him a Traverse City-leading four goals and eight points in just two games. He had a .667 shooting percentage on six shots, which, after seeing him put up 54 goals and 140 points with Halifax last year, isn’t too surprising. Dumais will return to the QMJHL; you can only imagine how many points he’ll put up as a fourth-year player.