Hard-Hitting Tyler Bertuzzi Shines at Development Camp

TRAVERSE CITY,  MICHIGAN– Bloodlines run deep within the Detroit Red Wings organization. As development camp concluded on Monday morning at Centre Ice Arena, the Detroit management and development staff had a chance to size up a few notable sons of NHL families. Amongst Michael Babcock and Dean Chelios sits Tyler Bertuzzi.

Taken in the second round as the 58th overall pick from the Guelph Storm (OHL), Bertuzzi was a standout at the Red Wings Development Camp in more ways than one.

Bertuzzi, an 18 year old who stands 6 feet tall and weighs in at 176 lbs, plays much bigger than his size. In the Red Wings annual prospect scrimmage, he was not afraid to go out and throw some hits and play his style of hockey. Despite taking a big hit from fellow prospect Martin Frk, there is much to be said for Bertuzzi’s tenacity to come out and play “his game” at his first Detroit Red Wings Prospect Camp.

When asked about this abrasive style, Bertuzzi said that he embraced it. Bertuzzi remarks, “That’s my game, grinding it out, hitting, playing tough. It’s working out for me. Now I just need to work on my skill side”

Is Bertuzzi all grit and no skill?

Absolutely not. Bertuzzi showed great skating potential and a good sense for keeping the puck on his stick during his on-ice workouts, and demonstrated more finesse around the net during drills than he is given credit for in many prospect reports.

WATCH: He’s also got a fighting side.

Bertuzzi is quite speedy as well, and has noted that his skating is an area he would like to work on more going forward. In talking about his skating, he said, “Those first three strides are the most powerful, and I want to get that power into my legs and get in some good cardio getting ready for camp.”

Red Wings fans should be excited about the development of Tyler Bertuzzi. If he continues to work hard on his skating speed and focusing his energy into big, clean, responsible hits, Bertuzzi has the potential to play in a checking role and likely see time on the penalty kill. A comparison to a bigger hitting Drew Miller would not be unreasonable.

Oh, and about rivalry with  that uncle, Todd?

“I’m meaner.” Bertuzzi quipped to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. Despite getting a call from Uncle Todd on draft day, fans can expect a bit of friendly competition come camp time. After all, a little bit of mean never hurt a hockey team, especially one that wears the Winged Wheel. That meanness is something that is needed badly in the Detroit system, and Bertuzzi will add grit to a Red Wings roster in the next few years.

Zackary Landers

Zackary Landers

Born and raised in north-central Illinois, covering the Detroit Red Wings wherever they go. Guest Writer for spring and summer 2014. Follow and read me for Red Wings news as it breaks and opinions around the clock.

3 Comments

  1. Spending a second round pick on a potential fourth line player is a waste. The Wings drafted him way too early. His size is inadequate to be a physical force in the NHL. So he will at best be a fourth line agitator. I like his style of play but he would have been drafted in the 6th or 7th round if the Wings wouldn’t have panicked and reached for him. The Wings currently have a prospect who would make a great 4th line agitator, Callahan, but he cant get a sniff of the NHL because the Wings just don’t like those type of players. They are already talking about trading or cutting Tootoo. The Wings are a skill and finesse team now and they don’t put much value into toughness. Why they drafted this guy so early is a mystery to me but it wasn’t because of his NHL potential.

  2. Zackary Landers says:

    Hey Lefty, thanks for the read. While Tyler is by no means a top six talent, I stand by what I said. It’s important to remember that he is only 18, and has a few good years left to add size. Regarding his issue at camp during the scrimmage, he calmed down and played responsibly after that. I give him credit for wanting to be noticed, even if he did go about it the wrong way. Again, he’s a ways off, but I believe he will make the team one day. Thanks again for the read!

  3. This kid isn’t going to be squat. He was way over drafted by the wings. He’s too small to play the role he wants, at the NHL level, and he seems pretty brain dead to boot. Fighting fellow prospects at the Wings prospect camp, causing injuries, etc… Not to mention he isn’t much of a fighter as the embedded video shows. He got his butt kicked in that fight and had to leave the ice…?? and we should be excited about this?!? This kid will never pan out at the NHL level. What a wasted draft pick this was…

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