This season, the Maple Leafs were invited to compete for the 2019 Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup Championship at the Traverse City Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan.

The event begins Friday, September 6, and if you’re in the area, tickets are very inexpensive, and you’ll get to see a lot of top prospects.

The tournament encompasses eight teams, but they manage to get all of them in games and a cup awarded in just four days of playing with one off day. The format might be a good model for the NHL’s proposed World Cup reboot.

The teams are divided into two divisions:

Gordie Howe Division

  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Toronto Maple Leafs/

Ted Lindsay Division

  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Dallas Stars
  • Minnesota Wild
  • New York Rangers/

The Leafs are in tough with a couple of teams, Chicago and Detroit, who have been drafting very high lately. In the other division is the powerhouse Rangers team, where they have too many good prospects to count. The Leafs have to use their smarts to top up the prospect pool with some players invited to show off for a team that might sign them or draft them next year.

Note: for players invited that were just passed over in their first NHL Entry Draft, they can be signed to an ELC by an NHL team as long as that happens before the junior season begins. You can extend that window a little by offering the player a try-out agreement and playing them on the Marlies or the Growlers for a bit. Any player signed at 18 or just 19 in this situation is likely going back to junior hockey right away, so that ELC is exempt from the 50-SPC limit.

In addition to the standard run of Leafs players, drafted prospects and AHL players, there are several players invited just for this event. They are Vladimir Alistrov, Joe Carroll, James Hamblin, Sean Larochelle, Josh Nelson, Marc-Antoine Pepin, Carter Robertson (no relation to Nick), Xavier Simoneau and Nathan Staios.

I humorously looked at Joe Carroll here, while making a joke about Kyle Dubas’s tendency to find gems in the Soo:

6 Players Kyle Dubas will target at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft

The Leafs have included in this roster several players signed to AHL deals as well as drafted prospects and NHL free-agent signing Teemu Kivihalme. The coach will be Sheldon Keefe, and Rob Davison, Jack Han, A.J. MacLean, Jon Elkin and the Growlers head coach John Snowden will all be on hand.

Update, this is confirmed, and explains his inclusion on the list:

Of note, this will be a chance for Leafs fans to see Mikhail Abramov, who was not at the camp in July. Filip Kral will be trying hard to impress this time; he’s told the Czech press he’d like a chance on the Marlies or the Growlers this year.

The Roster

2019 Traverse City Roster

PlayerPosition2018-19 ClubAcquired
Abramov, MikhailFVictoriaville (QMJHL)115th overall (2019)
Alistrov, VladimirFEdmonton (WHL)Free Agent Invite
Bradley, MattFNewfoundland (ECHL)Signed to AHL Contract
Bradley, TreyFToronto (AHL) / Colorado College (NCAA)Signed to AHL Contract
Brazeau, JustinFNorth Bay (OHL)Signed to AHL Contract
Carroll, JoeFSault Ste. Marie (OHL)Free Agent Invite
Conrad, ColtFToronto (AHL) / Western Michigan U (NCAA)Signed to AHL Contract
Der-Arguchintsev, SemyonFPeterborough (OHL) / Newfoundland (ECHL)76th overall (2018)
Duszak, JosephDToronto (AHL) / Mercyhurst (NCAA)Signed to NHL Contract
Elynuik, HudsonFToronto (AHL) / Newfoundland (ECHL)Signed to AHL Contract
Estephan, GiorgioFToronto (AHL) / Newfoundland (ECHL)Signed to AHL Contract
Hamblin, JamesFMedicine Hat (WHL)Free Agent Invite
Hollowell, MacDSault Ste. Marie (OHL) / Toronto (AHL)118th overall (2018)
Kivihalme, TeemuDKarpat (Liiga)Signed to NHL Contract
Korshkov, EgorFLokomotiv (KHL) / Toronto (AHL)31st overall (2016)
Kral, FilipDSpokane (WHL)149th overall (2018)
Larochelle, SeanDVictoriaville (QMJHL)Free Agent Invite
Lindgren, JesperDHPK (Liiga) / Toronto (AHL)95th overall (2015)
Moore, RyanFToronto (AHL) / Newfoundland (ECHL)Signed to AHL Contract
Nelson, JoshFLondon (OHL)Free Agent Invite
Pepin, Marc-AntoineDThetford (QCHL) / Sherbrooke (QMJHL) / Shawinigan (QMJHL)Free Agent Invite
Robertson, CarterDOwen Sound (OHL)Free Agent Invite
Robertson, NicholasFPeterborough (OHL)53rd overall (2019)
Rubins, KristiansDToronto (AHL) / Newfoundland (ECHL)Signed to AHL Contract
Sapego, SergeiDPrince Albert (WHL)Signed to AHL Contract
Scott, IanGPrince Albert (WHL)110th overall (2017)
Simoneau, XavierFDrummondville (QMJHL)Free Agent Invite
Staios, NathanDWindsor (OHL)Free Agent Invite
Stotts, RileyFCalgary (WHL)83rd overall (2018)
Woll, JosephGBoston College (NCAA)62nd overall (2016)
Woods, RileyFSpokane (WHL)Signed to AHL Contract
Zhukov, MaksimGBarrie (OHL) / Green Bay (USHL)Signed to AHL Contract


The Other Rosters Announced

St. Louis Blues


Forwards: Connor Bleackley (67), Filip Helt (86), Tanner Kaspick (83), Klim Kostin (37), Nikolaj Krag-Christensen (58), Jordan Kyrou (72), Mackenzie MacEachern (62), Hayden McCool (89), Greg Meireles (76), Adam Musil (54), Robert Thomas (36), Tage Thompson (32), Alexey Toropchencko (65)

Defense: Sean Allen (81), Trenton Bourque (63), Charles-Edouard D’Astous (74), Michael McKee (84), Niko Mikkola (77), David Noel (60), Dmitrii Sergeev (68), Thomas Vannelli (47), Jake Walman (46)

Goalies: Evan Fitzpatrick (85), Stephen Dhillon (90)

Chicago Blackhawks Roster

Detroit Red Wings Roster

Minnesota Wild Roster

Wild to participate in 2019 NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City

Columbus Blue Jackets Roster

Dallas Stars Roster

Traverse City Tournament: Stars Roster, Schedule, How To Watch

New York Rangers