Detroit Red Wings
Clear Bag Policy Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Tatar has showed scoring touch everywhere

Thursday, 09.16.2010 / 3:27 PM ET / News
By Mike G. Morreale
X
Share with your Friends


Tatar has showed scoring touch everywhere
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Tomas Tatar was quite the world traveler last season -- and in the end, he was one exhausted blue-chip prospect.
 
A 2009 second-round draft pick (No. 60) of the Red Wings, Tatar played 70 games in three countries during the 2009-10 season.
 
He endured his first season in North America, totaling 32 points in 58 games with Detroit's American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. He had 5 points in six games for Slovakia at the 2010 World Junior Championship in Saskatoon, Sask., and represented his country again in the World Championships in Germany, where he scored 2 goals in six games.
 
"It was nice to play against NHL stars and I was happy the coach gave me a chance, but I was tired -- it was so tough for me," Tatar told NHL.com.

Tatar was the youngest player, and at 5-foot-11 certainly one of the shortest in the American Hockey League last season. But he had 21 points in his first 27 games before departing for the WJC, where he was second on the team with 3 goals.
 
"Last year it was my first year here and it was new for me," Tatar said. "I didn't speak really good English, so this year I worked hard over the summer (adding 10 pounds), so hopefully I show something new."
 
Tatar certainly appears to be comfortable strutting his stuff in the Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament this week, leading the Wings with 3 goals, 4 points, eight shots and a plus-2 rating through three games. Last year, he finished with 3 goals, 5 points and a plus-5 rating in the five-day tournament.
 
The Red Wings will face the Minnesota Wild's prospects in the tournament final at 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Center Ice Arena.
 
"The thing is, I want to stay here in North America … I don't care if it's in the AHL or NHL, I just want to stay," Tatar said. "I was happy to make the team (in Grand Rapids), but the season was so tough. Hopefully I'm better prepared for this season because last year was such a long season. I played a lot, in World Juniors and World Championships."
 
Wings prospects coach Curt Fraser has used Tatar in just about every situation in Traverse City.
 
"He was the youngest player in the AHL last year and is so strong down low around the net that if you give this kid a chance, he'll make things happen," Fraser said. "Tommy continues to get better and better. He's a fantastic player on the ice, but even a better person off it. For a guy who couldn't speak a word of English last summer, he's the biggest joker in the room now."
 
Tatar, who was compared to playmaking forward Jiri Hudler by Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, feels he's better prepared for the AHL this season.
 
"The toughest thing in the AHL was that I wasn't strong like the guys," Tatar said. "They were like adults and I was still like a kid. But I worked over the summer and am more prepared for battling in the corners."
 
Wings Assistant General Manager Jim Nill feels there's no need to rush Tatar at this stage of his career.
 
"He came into the rookie tournament (last year) as one of our better players and thought he was ready to play in the AHL, but we were a little hesitant about it," Nill said. "We said, 'Go ahead and go down, and we'll watch you.' He could have played in Plymouth in the OHL last year. But we kept a close eye on him and he never missed a beat. He wasn't getting bounced around. You always worry that the young kids won't be able to hack it physically, but he had no trouble playing against men. We're very excited about him because we feel he's one of those players who brings a high end to him. We're hoping to see continued growth in his game."
 
With so much flair and potential, it's no wonder some other team would have snapped up Tatar prior to the final pick of the second round in 2009. After all, at the 2009 WJC in Ottawa, he had for 7 goals and 11 points in seven games for Slovakia, including a pair in a 5-3 upset of Team USA in the quarterfinals.
 
"My guess is, he was there for us in the second round because he was small," said Hakan Andersson, Detroit's director of European scouting. "I think everyone agrees he's a good hockey player, but he still is not very big. He looks good, though."
 
Tatar scoffs at the notion he's too small (5-foot-11, 176 pounds) to play the game.
 
"I think the one basic thing you can do, no matter your size, is score," he said. "I'm small, but in the NHL, small players like me have to work hard. You have to put some weight on your body, and I'm doing that. It's not bad to be small. I have different dangles and I know how to score, but the basic thing is working hard and preparing -- two things I'll continue to do."
 


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 53 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 54 10 27 4 37
T. Tatar 53 16 17 0 33
G. Nyquist 54 14 16 0 30
P. Datsyuk 39 8 21 13 29
J. Abdelkader 54 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 40 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 50 7 8 13 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 4 .934 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89