By Dale Woodard on September 14, 2021.
Alex Cotton has the Motor City on his mind.
Actually, it’s Traverse City, but close enough.
As the Lethbridge Hurricanes wrapped up training camp Sunday afternoon with their Red vs. White Intra-squad game at the Enmax Centre, the veteran defenceman who suited up for Team White was already gearing up another camp.
This one will take him to Traverse City, Michigan as Cotton – a fifth round, 132nd overall draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings in 2020 – gets ready to lace it up at his first NHL rookie camp.
The product of Langley, B.C. isn’t the only Cane headed to an NHL rookie camp.
Before the puck even dropped on the Red vs. White game Sunday, third-year forward Ty Nash was already en route to the Carolina Hurricanes rookie camp.
With Canes camp complete, Cotton left for Michigan Monday.
The Red Wings camp runs Sept. 16-20.
The tournament will include rookie rosters from the Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I’m going there for the Prospects Tournament. I’m not sure what to expect down there, I’m just going down to play,” said Cotton.
“Obviously it’s cool, I’m just going to go there and try to take everything in and learn from the pros and hopefully I can stay up there for a little bit.”
Nash, 18, was a ninth-round, 183rd overall, draft pick by the Hurricanes in the 2018 WHL draft and went undrafted in the NHL Entry Draft this year in his first year of eligibility.
However, the WHL Hurricane will skate with the NHL Hurricanes at Carolina’s prospects showcase, which will take place Sept. 18-21 in Florida.
The showcase will include prospect teams for the Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators.
The product of Scottsdale, Arizona had departed for Florida prior to the Hurricanes Red vs. White Game Sunday afternoon, but Hurricanes forward Chase Wheatcroft said he had a chance to chat with Nash earlier in the week.
“I just told him good luck and that he’s making the team proud,” said Wheatcroft. “I think he can really show what he has. That guy is a really good player. He’s super quick and I think he’ll really turn some heads at that camp.”
Nash had four goals and 13 points in 24 games in the shortened 2021 WHL season.
It total, he has 10 goals and 28 points in 83 games.
Cotton, one of this year’s overage players alongside Justin Hall and Logan Barlage, has 29 goals and 104 points in 146 regular season games in Lethbridge.
That includes his breakout 2019-20 season when he led all WHL blueliners in scoring with 20 goals and 67 points in 63 games.
Later that fall, he would up a Red Wings draft pick.
“They’ve talked to me a little bit about what they expect from me,” said Cotton. “If I just go there and play the way I can, hopefully I can stay there a little bit.”
Cotton was in Detroit training with the team in June.
“I was down there a month training and that was fun,” he said. “I got to meet a lot of the guys and the staff and use a lot of the resources. It’s a first-class organization and I was happy to go down there.”
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