Hockey is finally back, as the annual rookie tournament is happening this weekend! Prospects of the Ottawa Senators will face prospects of the Montreal Canadiens tonight at 7 p.m, with the Leafs tomorrow at 4 p.m.
Montreal and Toronto kicked off the tournament last night at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, with Montreal pulling off a 5-2 victory. The tournament serves as a great way for fans to get a glimpse of the future of their franchise. The Sens finished last year’s tournament with a 2-1 record, including a 6-3 victory over the Habs.
Line combos are a mystery at this point, so here’s my guess for Ottawa’s projected lineup (with each player linked to their Elite Prospects page for more info):
And here’s the roster that Montreal used last night:
*Denotes not part of the organization, participating in tournament on ATO
Here are a few notes ahead of tonight’s matchup:
- Jack Rodewald will be the Sens’ captain this weekend, with Francis Perron and Andreas Englund servin as the alternates.
- Both teams will be without their 2017 1st round picks (Shane Bowers & Ryan Poehling), as they’re still working their way through the NCAA.
- The Sens will also be without 2017 6th round pick Jordan Hollett, as he’s come down with the flu. He has been replaced for the tournament by the 25-year-old Kevin Bailie from Queen’s University.
- One interesting player to watch on Ottawa will be Pius Suter. The ZSC Lions, Suter’s current team, plays their first game of the season today. Suter likely has an out-clause that allows him to participate in the tournament, although it’s a potential sign that the Sens could be planning on signing him. We’ll get our first look at him tonight.
- There will be a few competitions for AHL spots as well. With Jaros and Burdoerfer locks for the team, it’s likely one of either Cody Donaghey or Macoy Erkamps will head to the ECHL.
- Max Lajoie will also have to make an impression tonight if he wants a spot in the AHL. The Sens have yet to announce a decision as to where he’ll be playing 2017-18 (he’s eligible for the AHL and CHL), although there’s been chatter that it will be in the AHL.
- A traitor on Montreal, Jordan Boucher signed a PTO with the Binghamton Senators after he finished his final season at Clarkson University, playing nine games with zero points.
- A couple Sens prospects will look to rebound after disappointing rookie pro seasons. Francis Perron couldn’t even hit 10 goals after scoring over 40 in the QMJHL the year prior, and Gabriel Gagné will try to prove that he was worth trading up for.
- Now fully healed after an injury-filled season, Logan Brown will be the highest draft pick playing in tonight’s game (11th overall). He’s shown to be deadly in the offensive zone, although it will be worth keeping an eye on how he can transition from zone to zone.
- And finally, there’s the two stars in Thomas Chabot and Colin White. The two should hopefully be the more dominant players of the night, as they’re looking to crack the Sens’ NHL roster.
The game will be broadcast live on NHL.com, which you can find here.