TOM KURVERS PROSPECT SHOWCASE RECAPSep 20, 2022
CHICAGO – Over the past weekend, some of the top prospects in the Minnesota Wild organization headed to Chicago for an early start to their training camp. The prospects participated in the Tom Kurvers Prospect Showcase, where they took on their counterparts from the Chicago Blackhawks in a pair of weekend games.
The trip began in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. The invitees spent a couple days getting to know their teammates and practicing at TRIA Rink before flying to Chicago. While the bulk of the trip was designed to give the prospects a taste of NHL life on the road, players also took the opportunity to experience the offerings of America’s third-largest city.
The teams split the weekend series, with Minnesota taking the first game by a 5-2 score before dropping the Sunday matinee 5-0.
Adam Beckman scored the eventual game winner in the third period on Friday night with assists from Carson Lambos and Marco Rossi. Vladislav Firstov also had an insurance goal midway through the third. Jesper Wallstedt saved 35 of 37 shots.
Several players on the trip spent time with the Iowa Wild last season and talked afterward about their experiences.
On leadership skills:
Marco Rossi talked about the differences between experiencing a prospect camp for the first and second time.
“Last year, everything was new for me. It was my first year so I didn’t really have any experience. Coming into this camp I knew exactly what would be expected of me. With the experience I have, I can teach other guys more and more.”
The coaching staff recognized Damien Giroux’s leadership abilities by fastening the captain’s “C” to his jersey for the weekend. The young forward credited his teammates with making the job easy.
“The best part about this group is playing games with them. Everyone is so positive and has so much energy. When you have a group like that, it makes it a lot easier and a lot of fun.”
On bonding with teammates:
After wrapping up his college career with the University of Connecticut, Vladislav Firstov joined the Iowa Wild for eight games at the end of the 2021-22 season. During his first prospect showcase, Firstov got to know current and future teammates much better in a city he’d never been to before.
“All the other prospects are nice guys. We had an amazing team that played for each other and fought for each other two games. It was my first time in Chicago and my first baseball game and seeing that with the boys around was the most fun part.”
On building new skills:
Over the summer, Adam Beckman focused on improving his puck possession ability. The weekend contests gave him his first chance since last season to show off his improved game.
“I’ve worked on certain puck protection plays and have been learning to shield off guys in different ways. It’s a skill I’ll continue to work on during camp.”
The Minnesota Wild open training camp on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. The Iowa Wild begin training camp in Des Moines on Oct. 3.