This afternoon, the beginning of the 2011-12 NHL season kicks off with the opening of the Oshawa rookie tournament. In the opener, the Senators and Penguins rookies face off at 2 p.m.
The Penguins prospect roster doesn't include a lot of well-known names, but it does feature Eric Tangradi, Simon Despres, and Joseph Morrow, a few recent high round picks. Tangradi is pencilled in to the Penguins roster, while Despres will fight for a spot and Morrow might start on the blue line, but is more likely headed back to junior for another season.
In Ottawa, we'll be watching just about every prospect with a lot of anticipation. At the forefront will likely be defenders Jared Cowen and David Rundblad, two of the most touted prospects in Ottawa's system, but eyes will also be focussed on Robin Lehner in net as well as the top forward line of Mika Zibanejad centering Shane Prince and Andre Petersson. Not to mention Stephane Da Costa, who's expected to compete for an NHL roster spot this season, plus a couple guys who'll likely be stepping up to the AHL this season:
Mark Stone, (Ed. note: Turns out Stone isn't yet AHL-eligible; he'll likely head back to the WHL for another year of junior) Corey Cowick, and Louie Caporusso.
It should be a fun one, so join us here Saturday afternoon to chat about the game!