TRAVERSE CITY — Mike Babcock Jr just finished his senior season at Detroit Catholic Central — and he’s already been traded.
The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders dealt the son of the Detroit Red Wings coach to the Fargo Force for a 2014 United States Hockey League draft pick on Thursday.
Babcock Jr. is in Traverse City this week, taking part in the Red Wings Development Camp. He skated for Team Yzerman in Friday’s night’s intra-squad game at Centre ICE, scoring a goal in the shootout.
Babcock Jr., who had 18 goals and 24 assists at Catholic Central last season, has committed to playing at Merrimack College following his USHL career, according to the Fargo Forum.
When asked Thursday what it meant to have his son with him at Development Camp here, Babcock quipped, “It means you’re getting older.
“This is a good development opportunity for him,” the coach added. “He came last year. This time he’s in his age group (with some of the players just drafted). He’s got a plan for his next six years, as far as going to the USHL and school.”
Babcock Jr. will be draft eligible for next summer’s NHL draft.
“It’s just like with any of these kids (prospects), you have to keep getting better,” the elder Babcock said. “If you keep getting better, maybe somebody will give you an opportunity to play.”
Babcock Jr., a first-team All-State pick in Division 1, was drafted with the 68th overall pick and played in five USHL games for the RoughRiders at the end of the season.
“As a parent, you like to watch your kids do anything,” Babcock said. “It makes you proud. I’m a big believer in life that you maximize your potential, squeeze every ounce of yourself that you have, whether it be sport, school or whatever. Here’s an opportunity for him.”