Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Going camping

Three Minnesota State players are attending development camps with NHL teams this week. That group includes Teddy Blueger with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Max Gaede with the San Jose Sharks and Zach Palmquist with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Blueger, who will be a freshman at MSU, was drafted by the Penguins in the second round last month. Gaede, a sophomore, is a Sharks draft pick. And Palmquist is a nondrafted invitee.

Interesting note about Blueger. Besides being drafted by the Penguins, he was selected in the CHL import draft by the Ontario Hockey League's Oshawa Generals, a major junior team in Canada.

In a recent news article, Oshawa general manager Jeff Twohey said while there's no guarantee of getting Blueger, the team is going to "go after him and do everything we can to get him here."

Blueger has spent time in Mankato this summer, but it looks like the MSU's recruiting job with the Latvia native and Shattuck St. Mary's almu won't end until he arrives here to start school next month.

There is an ongoing battle between college hockey and major junior hockey for players. The Mavericks have had a little experience in that, as Tyler Pitlick went to the Western Hockey League after one year at Minnesota State.


Nathan Tish said...

Let's hope Blueger values a college education and an opportunity to be a genuine leader on an NCAA team.

Pitlick was nearly a 1st round NHL draft pick, but he served as a second-line player in Canadian Major Juniors.

Perhaps the thought of piling on a lot of points in high-scoring major juniors appeals to younger players?

If Blueger wants to be a leader on the ice - He should recognize that his best opportunity to do that is with the Mavericks... Current NHL team captains like David Backes, Brian Gionta and Shawn Horcoff developed leadership skills in college hockey. None of them were first round draft picks (perhaps they would have been second-line players in Canadian Juniors too).

MSUMaverickFan said...

MSU is the better team, and the WCHA is the better challenge for Blueger.

Sure he could play a full schedule, and probably put up some lofty numbers in the OHL, but would be doing so against 15-18 year old kids. The college route will allow him to play against physically stronger and older players, and improve his skating on the olympic sized rink. Playing with guys like Lietner, LaFontaine, Grant, Lehrke, Hayes, Palmquist, Gervias. I believe we have some real talent to compliment Blueger, better talent than Oshawa could offer in my opinion. An education shouldn't be undervalued either, hockey is a cerebral game as much as it's physical.

The Penguins big brass, GM Ray Shero and coach Dan Bylsma are pro-NCAA guys, both having played college hockey. They jumped up to select him in the draft knowing full well his college commitment, and I'd be shocked if they didn't intend for him to honor it.

It's already evident though, in this cut-throat age in college hockey, the benefit of having a guy like Mike Hastings on board. The investment we made in him and the program will pay dividends - particularly in recruiting battles such as this one.

MSUMaverickFan said...

The best thing Teddy can do for his game right now is to get bigger, stronger and faster. A full CHL schedule doesn't allow enough time for the strenuous workouts, practices and especially the recovery time essential to building a bigger frame. Blueger has the playmaking ability already - you don't lead SSM in scoring without that ability. It won't leave him. He needs to be patient with his development, focus on building strength and fitness, and sleep plenty of nights in his own bed. MSU is the best place to do that - I'm sure of it.

Hagar said...


Can't wait to see what he can do here.