GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - With Red Wings hopefuls Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and even Petr Mrezk playing with the Griffins in Grand Rapids, a recent Detroit News poll asked which Wings minor leaguer fans most want to see in Detroit.
The winner was the man known as the 'YouTube Sensation': Tomas Jurco.
Jurco -- a right wing -- has phenomenal stick-handling ability and stunning hand-eye coordination. And thanks to YouTube, his name is known world-wide. Videos show some of his best plays and neat tricks.
"Tomas Jurco is a stud," Brendan Smith said of his teammate. "Obviously. He's that YouTube Sensation."
It's a nickname that's well-deserved, but often unwanted.
"Sometimes it bothers me because I want to be known as a good hockey player, not just a YouTube guy," Jurco said.
Jurco was drafted 35th overall by the Red Wings in 2011.
"Tomas Jurco has a real chance to be a high-end offensive player in time," said Griffins Head Coach Jeff Blashill. "How quickly will depend on how quickly he adjusts to the level. You have a little less time and space, obviously, at the pro level than you do at juniors, so he's going to have to learn to create some time and space for himself, and as that process goes along, his development will come."
The first-year pro from Slovakia, still only 19, wants to prove he's a good all-around player.
"There are a lot of big buys. They're stronger and a little faster. But it's a good think that I was in Canada before, so I'm kind of used to the North American style of hockey. I think I'm proving I'm more than just a YouTube guy," Jurco said.
But for now, it's the YouTube clips which have Red Wings fans excited about eventually seeing Jurco in Detroit.
"It makes me feel really good to know that people want to see me in a Detroit uniform," he said.
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