If you happen to find yourself in London, ON sometime this weekend, consider checking out the annual rookie tournament between the Senators, Penguins, Canadiens, and Maple Leafs. The games are taking place at Budweiser Gardens, and you can check out their website for tickets and all necessary information. The Sens rookies take on the Leafs tonight at 7:35 p.m. (what's with the baseball start times?), the Pens at 4 p.m. on Saturday, and the Habs at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The tournament is a chance to check out the Sens rookies in person.
For a good breakdown of the Sens' roster, check out Sensfan90's primer piece. One quick note is that Nick Paul will not be at the tournament due to a hamstring injury. Randy Lee spoke to the media yesterday and confirmed that Paul is skating with player development consultant Shean Donovan. Paul should be fine to go by the time training camp rolls around, keeping him out is just a precaution. If you're wondering why Shane Prince isn't there, he's no longer on his ELC and therefore is ineligible.
A few interesting battles will show up at this tournament. Most notably, it will be the first time Chris Driedger and Matt O'Connor are competing for ice time. This tournament is mostly for fun, but as Jeff Ulmer noted yesterday, these two will continue to battle for the starting role the rest of the year. It should be a good chance to see some of the differences in the style each one plays.
Additionally, 2015 picks Thomas Chabot, Filip Chlapik, and Gabriel Gagne will be present. For many Sens fans, this will be the first chance to watch these players since they became part of the organization. It's too bad college-bound players lose their college eligibility by showing up, because it would've been good to get a look at Colin White.
In all, the rookie tournament looks to be a fun showcase of some of the up-and-coming talent on the roster. And after far too many months of no hockey, anything remotely resembling NHL hockey is a welcome treat.
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