Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports

July 8, 2011

Wings' Jurco labeled 'YouTube sensation'

Top pick eager to move past highlight clips

TRAVERSE CITY — Tomas Jurco doesn't want to be known just as a YouTube phenomenon.

Thursday was a step in that direction.

The Detroit Red Wings top 2011 draft pick donned the red and white winged wheel for the first time as the team kicked off its Development Camp in Traverse City.

The clip has been up on YouTube for just over two years now and has over 200,000 views. In it, Jurco flicks and twirls the puck around with a stick, passes it to himself between his legs without it touching the ground and just generally does whatever he wants with the puck.

It's like Tiger Woods bouncing a golf ball on his putter, only with a more varied bag of tricks.

"When I made that video I was 14," the 18-year-old Slovakian said. "I just put it on a Slovakian website, and someone took it from there and put it on YouTube. I never thought it would become so famous. On one hand, I'm happy for it. But on another hand, I don't like to be called 'YouTube sensation.' I'm trying to be a good hockey player."

The right wing's tricks are reminiscent of the stick work of current Red Wing forward Pavel Datsyuk, a player he could team up with in future seasons.

"I never had one favorite player," Jurco said. "But he is the guy I am closest to. He's a great hockey player and I'm trying to do the same things on the ice. That's really a lot of work to just be close to him, but he's the guy I'm trying to copy."

Jurco put up 31 goals and 56 points in 60 games with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and helped the team to the Memorial Cup under former Red Wing player Gerard Gallant, who recommended Jurco to Detroit.

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