For those antsy for their first taste of NHL hockey action, the first event of the 2014-15 season is around the corner: the annual rookie tournament in London, Ontario starts on September 13. The Senators will attempt to defend their Rookie Tournament title against rookie squads from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Chicago Blackhawks. The Senators youngsters handily won last year’s event, posting a 3-0 record including a 6-2 thrashing of the Maple Leafs rookie team in the tournament finals.
Led by Ottawa native Luke Richardson, former Ottawa Senator and current head coach of the Binghamton Senators, the Senators will play three games starting this weekend. The tournament is an opportunity for Senators prospects to tune-up before either returning to their junior or college teams or joining the NHL club for training camp in a couple weeks.
Players to watch out for include Memorial Cup Champion and 2013 first round pick Curtis Lazar, 2011 first round pick Matt Puempel. Chris Driedger of the Calgary Hitmen will star in nets and 6’6″ Ben Harpur of the Guelph Storm will patrol the blueline. It will also be the first opportunity to see Alex Guptill and Nick Paul in action; both were received from Dallas as part of the Jason Spezza trade package. Courtesy of the Senators website, The full roster, including unsigned camp invites, is as follows:
Defencemen: Travis Brown (Moose Jaw – WHL, Victoria – WHL), Fredrik Claesson (Binghamton – AHL), Mitch Jones (Plymouth – OHL), Ben Harpur (Guelph – OHL), Stefan Leblanc (Sudbury – OHL, Mississauga – OHL), Alex Lepkowski (Oshawa – OHL, Greenville – ECHL, Rochester – AHL), Matt Murphy (Halifax – QMJHL), Troy Rutkowski(Elmira – ECHL, Binghamton – AHL).
Forwards: Jakub Culek (Elmira – ECHL, Binghamton – AHL), Vincent Dunn (Gatineau – QMJHL, Binghamton – AHL), Ryan Dzingel (Ohio State – Big Ten, Binghamton – AHL), Alex Guptill (Michigan – Big Ten, Texas – AHL),Darren Kramer (Binghamton – AHL), Curtis Lazar (Edmonton – WHL), Tobias Lindberg (Djurgardens – Swe-Jr., Djurgardens – Allsvenskan), Max McCormick (Ohio State – Big Ten), Nick Paul (North Bay – OHL), Francis Perron(Rouyn-Noranda – QMJHL), Shane Prince (Binghamton – AHL), Matt Puempel (Binghamton – AHL), Buddy Robinson(Elmira – ECHL, Binghamton – AHL), Garrett Thompson (Ferris State – WCHA, Binghamton – AHL).
Update: The entire tournament will be broadcast on Rogers 22 in Ottawa. The schedule for Senators games is as follows:
Saturday, Sept. 13: Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa, 2 pm
Sunday, Sept. 14: Ottawa vs. Toronto, 7 pm
Monday, Sept. 15: Chicago vs. Ottawa, 7 pm* (time-shifted to 9pm for broadcast)