Kelleher Shines; Team Gold Wins 7-4

(Photo Credit: Jamie Wahl)

Team Gold won 7-4 tonight’s Future Stars Game at the Bridgestone Arena. Tyler Kelleher scored two goals and an assist on the night for Team Gold and several soon-to-be Admirals also delivered quite nicely.

Tonight’s game was segmented into two twenty-five minute halves. In the first half Team Gold finished with a 5-2 lead with two goals scored by David Farrance that were set up by a pair of Admirals, Tyler Kelleher and Tyler Moy.

Kelleher’s assist for Farrance saw him race down the right wing, coast around the net, and pick out Farrance camped in front of Étienne Marcoux for a one-timed finish. Kelleher would follow that up with a slick goal for himself on his very next shift. He picked the pocket of Victor Ejdsell to generate a turnover right in front of Marcoux and then feinted the backhand, switched to forehand, and roofed his shot.

Moy’s work rate in the first half was hard to ignore. His hustle in the four-on-four ice sheet showcased his skills very well and the go-to highlight was his assist for the second goal scored by Farrance. Moy was free in the left wing pocket and worked a spin-o-rama no-look backhanded pass to the tape of Farrance for a one-timer. After the first half concluded Moy then had the best move in the shootout segment. He hit the Forsberg deke to perfection.

The second half of tonight’s contest started out with some phenomenal work in net by Tomáš Vomáčka. He was making lots of high quality saves and displaying real flexibility and lateral movement. He would concede goals to Nathan Sucese and Rem Pitlick but they were efforts that you have to tip your cap to the shooters.

Anthony Richard would work a one-two with Eeli Tolvanen to pick up a goal in the second half. Team Gold entered on a three-on-one with Richard carrying the puck down the right wing. He would drop the pass back to Tolvanen who instantly tapped it back to Richard for a one-timer low in the right wing circle.

Kelleher’s solid night would be capped off with a second goal. Where the first one had some defensive skill sprinkled into the play Kelleher’s second was all offense. He cut hard into the left wing circle and labeled a snapshot past Andrew Shortridge.

Amusingly, not a lot happened once the game went from four-on-four to three-on-three. The five minute session saw a bit more defensive quality than offense. That’s not to say that was a bad thing. In particular Joonas Lyytinen looked very good in the three-on-three. I’m surprised how calm he makes plays around the net look.

2017 Nashville Predators Rookie Development Camp is now in the books and the focus turns to the start of NHL Free Agency tomorrow. It could be a busy day tomorrow -or- it could be a slow day as everyone figures out where the market is going. My hope is to see the Predators get some of their own players new deals and retain as much of the 2016-17 group as they can. There certainly is a lot that could play out though. That’s the fun of Free Agent Frenzy.

Ramblings: Among tonight’s prospects there were seven players expected to join the Milwaukee Admirals for the 2017-18 season: Frédéric Allard, Alex Carrier, Jack Dougherty, Tyler Kelleher, Tyler Moy, Anthony Richard, and Yakov Trenin. Justin Kirkland is here this week but did not participate in tonight’s game nor the past few days of on-ice sessions at Centennial Sportsplex. Both Victor Edjsell and Joonas Lyytinen are possible to join the Admirals this season but both have contracts to play in Europe later this Fall as well. Team Gold’s coaches: Scott Ford, Wade Redden, and Austin Watson. Team White’s coaches: Stan Drulia, Scott Nichol, and Kevin Fiala.

Who impressed you the most at this week’s Rookie Development Camp? How are we feeling about the Predators’ 2017 Draft Class? And who would you like to see the Predators sign or acquire tomorrow?

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