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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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80