Tomas Jurco’s puck-handling ability made him an exciting prospect, but he only had 12 NHL goals in 123 games heading into Saturday. He showed how skillful he is with the puck against the Anaheim Ducks Saturday, though, faking out John Gibson with a great move.
When Tomas Jurco played for the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs, the Slovakian winger wowed crowds and fans everywhere with his ability to handle the puck. Jurco is still trying to find the same type of scoring touch he had in major junior in the NHL, but he showed a flash of his puck-handling brilliance Saturday night.
The Red Wings were trailing the Ducks 2-1 in the second period when Detroit broke up ice 3-on-2. After Red Wings blueliner Brendan Smith drew Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf in before slipping a pass to Detroit winger Gustav Nyquist, who then moved it almost immediately over to Jurco. Nyquist’s pass gave Jurco a partial breakaway, and the 23-year-old shook Anaheim netminder John Gibson with a gorgeous move:
Jurco’s tally was only his second of the season and the Red Wings can only hope it gives him some confidence because this has been a rough season for the third-year winger. Heading into Saturday’s game, he had averaged little more than nine minutes of ice time per night under new coach Jeff Blashill and went through a run of 13 games as a healthy scratch.
His one goal and three points heading into Saturday had him on pace for just seven points this season, which would be far and away the worst point total of his short professional career. Jurco has shown he has the ability to be a consistent scorer at the pro level, though. In the AHL, he has 27 goals and 60 points in 106 games, including 13 goals and 32 points in 32 games in 2013-14.