BY:Jeff Schneberk @Game7overtime
Anybody looking to get their ‘pre-NHL’ fix’ in right before the start of the pre-season, need look no further than the rookie tournaments.
Thank God for TSN (Canada) for getting the Maple Leafs and the Blackhawks highlights on TV last night.
The Leafs and Blackhawks make up 2/5 of the tournament that is taking place out in London, ON.
There are others in selected US cities too.
Toronto Rookie Tournament: The four-day event will take place at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario, beginning Thursday and will feature prospects from the Leafs, Penguins, Senators and the Stanley Cup champion, Chicago Blackhawks.
The host Maple Leafs will be coached by newly appointed Toronto Marlies coach and former Kitchener Rangers coach Steve Spott.
Here is a look at the lineup: Morgan Reilly (D), Stuart Percy (D), Tyler Biggs (F). Additionally, four of the Leafs 2013 draft picks will participate, including two-way forward Frederik Gauthier.
On the other side, the Blackhawks will play first-rounders (2013) Dylan Olsen, Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault.
Pittsburgh’s roster will carry 2013 second-round draft pick Tristan Jarry (G), first-rounder from 2012 Derrick Pouliot and Olli Matta.
Ottawa will play three first-rounders from this year: Curtis Lazar, Cody Cecil and Matt Puempel.
The Lightning, Predators, Panthers and Boston Bruins are involved in the Florida rookie tourney, which begins today (Friday) apparently. Those games will showcase a trio of first-round draft picks from this year’s Entry Draft (Aleksander Barkov-FLA, Jonathan Druin-TAM and Seth Jones-NASH).
The Predators possess three first-round picks, including defenseman Jones (2013, No. 4), and forwards Filip Forsberg (2012, No. 9) and Austin Watson (2010, No. 18). Bruins prospect Malcolm Subban, the second goalie taken in the 2012 first-round (No. 24), will be in the spotlight for Boston, and Tampa Bay will have first-round selections Drouin (2013), Vladislav Namestnikov (2011, No. 27) and Slater Koekkoek (2012, No. 10).
The Panthers will have Barkov and forwards Nick Bjugstad (2010, No. 19) and Quinton Howden(2010, No. 25), and defenseman Alex Petrovic (2010, No. 36).
The other Canadian based tournament is the Young Stars Tournament: This is a five-day tournament in Penticton, British Columbia’s South Okanagan Events Centre opens Thursday.
It will feature 2013 first-round choices made by the Canucks, Flames, Oilers and the Jets.
Vancouver will play their newest big shot Bo Horvat, who was acquired from New Jersey in the Cory Schneider deal on Draft day, and scored a beautiful goal last night against Flamers; also playing for Vancouver: Hunter Shattenkirk.
Calgary has Sean Monahan, Emile Poirier and Morgan Klimchuk as well as highly-regarded defenceman Darnell Nurse.
The Sharks will dress Mirco Mueller (No. 18), and the Jets will give offensive-defenseman Josh Morrissey (No. 13) an opportunity to shine.
In the Traverse City Prospects Tournament in Michigan, which includes eight teams, there are three rookie events taking place.
This is one of the premier prospect tournaments, which started yesterday (Thursday) at the Centre ICE Arena.
Those playing includes: the Dallas Stars, the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, NY Rangers, St. Louis Blues and the host Detroit Red Wings.
Tournament play goes until Monday.