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Tyler Bertuzzi big surprise at NHL draft

It was quite a day for several Guelph Storm players when the National Hockey League held its annual draft in New Jersey at the end of last month.
Jason Dickinson, after falling in the draft ratings during the second half of the season, was snatched up in the first round by the Dallas Stars.
Big winger Justin Auger, who was rated 211th by the Central Scouting Bureau heading into the draft, jumped all the way up to 103rd when selected by the Los Angeles Kings.
The biggest surprise, however,  was scrappy Tyler Bertuzzi. He wasn’t even on the CSB’s radar at Christmas, but on draft day, the Detroit Red Wings called his name in the second round, 58th overall.
“He became a commodity,” said Storm VP and GM Mike Kelly. “After his performance in the playoffs (coach) Scott (Walker) and myself took more calls on him than anyone. It was apparent his stock was rising quickly. I would have projected him as a third round pick but I’m thrilled Detroit selected him where they did.  That is quite a statement for a player who missed a good chunk of the season with a neck injury.”
Bertuzzi was Guelph’s best forward in their playoff series against Kitchener. He was tenacious, dangerous offensively and a general pain in the butt.
“There isn’t much argument about that,” said Kelly.  “He showed good decision-making with the puck and when everything is on the line, he plays his best hockey, as he did last year in the playoffs.”
His uncle Todd has had a good run in Detroit and while they are a different type of player, with the elder Bertuzzi having a better scoring touch, they are both tough to play against.
Dickinson was thrilled to be drafted 29th overall by Dallas.
“I was a little surprised because I had no idea where I would end up,” the Storm forward said while at a mini-camp in Dallas last week. “With the (NHL) draft behind me, I think it will make my game much more confident and, in turn, consistently better.”
Dickinson showed signs of becoming a star. He used his speed to the outside to work around defencemen and showed a good scoring touch, especially before Christmas.
Other Storm players selected were defencemen Ben Harpur, in the fourth round to Ottawa, and Zac Leslie, in the sixth to the Kings.
“Harp’s upside is virtually unlimited,” stated Kelly. “It may sound extreme, but as good as Darnell Nurse (who went seventh overall to Edmonton) is, Harp has the same upside. This kid can play in the NHL.
“Last year when Leslie didn’t get drafted, he came to me and said ‘Mr. Kelly I didn’t deserve to get drafted. I underestimated how hard the (OHL) was,’ and he took it upon himself to go home and work very hard last summer, and I think L.A. got one heck of a pick. I think he’s as good as some players in the third round.”
On Auger’s selection, Kelly said: “At 6’7” and 228 pounds, he did some things that made you say ‘wow.’ It’s his hands and creativity that make him potentially special.”
Kelly wanted to share the spotlight with former general manager Jason Brooks, who selected Auger and Leslie in the OHL draft, along with Scott Kosmachuk, Matt Finn and Brock McGinn drafted last year into the NHL.

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