In what appears to be a franchise-wide youth movement, the Detroit Red Wings have signed prospect Tomas Jurco to a three year entry-level contract. Jurco was taken in the second round of last years NHL Entry Draft, and currently plays for the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League).
If Jurco’s stint with the Sea Dogs is any indication, the Red Wings might have the next goalscoring star on their hands. Jurco lead his Sea Dogs to the QMJHL President’s Cup championship in May, and in a rather dominant fashion. The Sea Dogs were regarded as the best team most of the year, and capped off an amazing season with an 8-0 victory in the clinching game.
Jurco wasn’t the biggest star on that Saint John squad, but that doesn’t make him any less impressive. After a monster two seasons before being drafted in 2011, Jurco had a rough 2010-2011 season, causing him to slip in the draft. The Red Wings didn’t seem to mind, as they were able to get a really good player later in the draft than normal. Jurco bounced back last year by scoring 30 goals to go with 38 assists in only 48 games. He would have lead the league in points had he been able to play the entire 68-game schedule.
Jurco was even better in the playoffs, amassing 29 points in just 16 playoff games en route to the championship. These totals have come as zero surprise to the people in the know. Sea Dogs coach Gerard Gallant seems to think Turco can play a little, “He’s big, strong, he can skate, he’s got good hands. When he has that breakout year, that’s the type of player I see. I really do.”
Jurco has modeled his game after Marian Hossa, and for the Red Wings’ sake, hopefully he can perform like his idol.