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Prospect adapts to NHL surroundings

McCollum borrows former Wings' head gear

Tuesday, 07.8.2008 / 12:29 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Prospect adapts to NHL surroundings
McCollum, the Red Wings' first-round draft pick last month, makes a save during Day 2 of the team's prospects camp at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.
DETROIT -- When first round draft pick Tom McCollum took the ice for the Red Wings prospects camp, he looked like it was second nature to him. It might have been because he was already wearing a mask with an octopus painted on. However, with the word ‘Manny’ painted on the back, it was clear that the goalie mask wasn’t his.

The top-rated goaltender in last month’s draft showed up for his first skate with his new team, without a proper functioning helmet. McCollum said his mask was damaged during an Ontario Hockey League game with Guelph, where he plans on returning to next season.

“The last game I played in Guelph with my black mask I got hit in the nose with a shot from (Kitchener defenseman) Yannick Weber,” said McCollum after practice Tuesday morning. “And it dented it, so my nose sticks out of the cage now.” 

Before taking the ice on Monday, McCollum received his first coaching lesson from goaltending coach Jim Bedard, the man who helped prepare last season’s Jennings Trophy winning tandem of Chris Osgood and Dominik Hasek.
 
“When I got here, Bedard didn’t want me to lose part of my nose, so he gave me Manny Legace’s old mask,” said McCollum, referring to the Wings former goalie. “So I’m just kind of working through playing with that right now.”

McCollum should be able to handle wearing someone else’s mask until a new one arrives.  The 18-year-old was the second goalie chosen last month, after a stellar season with the Storm. He posted a 25-17-3 in the regular-season, with four shutouts; he also won five postseason games.

However, goaltending wasn’t always McCollum’s forte. He was playing defense for his squirt hockey team until they ended up needing a new netminder.
It’s definitely unbelievable, especially with all the big names that have come through Detroit and all the players that have developed through their system. Just being out there is amazing. - Wings' first-round pick Tom McCollum

“Actually, when I was playing squirt minor our goalie quit in the middle of the game, he just left halfway through the third,” McCollum said, laughing. “We came back to practice two days later and our coach said he’s not coming back, does anybody want to volunteer to try it? Everybody kind of turned and looked at me, because when I was a defenseman I was always diving and blocking shots anyways, so I said I might as well give it a try.”

McCollum said his parents weren’t thrilled with his decision at the time.

“They weren’t too happy about it, but they decided they would let me try,” he said. “And then I told them the next year I really wanted to be a goalie, they shook their heads and said, ‘well if you really want to.’ ”

Now, the native of Amherst, N.Y., is part of a Stanley Cup champion organization.  McCollum said that skating at Joe Louis Arena is an experience he will never forget.

“It’s definitely unbelievable,” he said, “especially with all the big names that have come through Detroit and all the players that have developed through their system. Just being out there is amazing.”


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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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