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Sioux Falls Stampede Tryout Thoughts

A few thoughts from Sioux Falls Stampede tryout camp.

Courtesy of Shooting Star Photos

I wasn't able to see much of the Sioux Falls Stampede(USHL) tryout camp held last week in Minneapolis, but I was able to catch one of their camp all-star games, and while I didn't have a complete breakdown of every player at the camp, I did have enough thoughts to put together this post.

-First off, it always needs to be said what a first-class tryout camp Sioux Falls runs. They're one of the few teams that actually acts like they're a Tier I team and makes their camp fan-friendly, rather than trying to keep everything a big secret.

-This looked like the most talented overall group that Sioux Falls has had at their camp in the six or seven years I've been going to their camp. Part of that is that Sioux Falls has a lot of returning talent off of what was already a pretty good team last year. Four of their top five scorers from last year were at this year's camp, including leading scorer Dennis Kravchenko, who was probably the top player there. With UMass turning over their roster this summer, I can't imagine why they wouldn't bring Kravchenko in for next season. He's definitely ready for NCAA hockey. Second and third-leading scorers CJ Franklin and Zeb Knutson, both committed to Minnesota State, are also probably ready to make the jump to NCAA hockey, but with Minnesota State bringing in two forwards that have aged out of juniors, and having Zach Stepan fall into their lap at the last moment, there wasn't much flexibility to bring them in a year earlier. I don't know much about Princeton's situation, but a sniper like Tony Calderone seems like he could help their team as well. '

-The one question for the Stampede will be in goal, where they have to replace USA Hockey's national junior goalie of the year in Charlie Lindgren. The front-runner is Boston University commit Shane Starrett. I didn't see enough to say he can replace Lindgren, but he certainly looks like he could replace Lindgren. Starrett is huge(6'5"), but has some amazing quickness for a player his size. If Starrett doesnt' adjust to the USHL-level right away, there's not a lot currently on the roster behind him.

-The German duo of Janik Moser and Parker Tuomie skated at the camp. Both skated for Germany's U18 world championships team earlier this spring. Tuomie's father is from the Minneapolis-area and played college hockey at St. Cloud and Wisconsin and is now a head coach in Germany's top pro league, which explains their connection and interest to playing in North America. Moser was still listed on the camp roster as being committed to Ohio State, though with former Buckeye head coach Mark Osiecki being a former teammate of Tuomie at Wisconsin, his connection to OSU would seem less stable than it once was. Both players are late '95s and Moser is definitely a prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft while Tuomie is a little more borderline.

-Three '97s made the all-star roster: Donovan Ott, Nick Heid, and Finnish D Jarkko Parikka. Parikka was the most polished right now. Parikka looked like he might be able to hold his own at the USHL-level, and would be a nice NCAA prospect if he decided to stay in North America. Ott and Heid are more raw, but also have a lot more upside. Also nice to see '97s Mark Kaske and Toby Sengvoxnay, two players I thought should have been selected in the Futures Draft, get the opportunity to skate in the camp. Local Austen Long was the only '98 to participate in the camp.

-Newcomers that I've heard were on the roster coming out of this camp include: Shane Starrett, Dakota Joshua, Mitchell Lundholm, and Dan Fritz.