Top prospects from the Chicago Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs will descend upon Oshawa, Ontario, on Sept. 10 to take part in a four-day, round-robin tournament that's hosted by the Leafs at General Motors Centre.
Matt Frattin, who Leafs GM Brian Burke believes can compete for a roster spot on the big club, headlines the list of 25 players who will represent the host club. Frattin was the team's second-round pick in 2007 and could be in a battle with Nazem Kadri and Joe Colborne for that roster spot.
"If you notice, we've left one spot open," Burke said last week. "We want some competition for one of the forward spots. Whether that's Matt Frattin or Nazem Kadri or Joe Colborne or whomever, we do want to have some competition open for a spot."
Other notables on the Leafs rookie tournament roster include defensemen Jake Gardiner and Jesse Blacker, and forwards Jerry D’Amigo, Greg McKegg and Brad Ross.
The Blackhawks are led by five members of the organization’s 2011 draft class, including first-round selections Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault. McNeill paced the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders with a career-high 49 assists and ranked second on the team with a career-best 32 goals last season. Danault captained the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Victoriaville Tigres, notching a career-best 67 points (23 goals, 44 assists).
They will be joined by forward Jeremy Morin, who made his NHL debut with Chicago last season and won a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championships.
The Senators' roster is comprised of five first-round NHL draft picks -- Jared Cowen (ninth, 2009), David Rundblad (17th, 2009), Mika Zibanejad (sixth, 2011), Stefan Noesen (21st, 2011) and Matt Puempel (24th, 2011).
Cowen and Rundbland have a great chance to make the Sens' opening-night roster, and solid performances in Oshawa could solidify two spots.
Eric Tangradi, Simon Despres and 2011 first-round draft pick Joseph Morrow are among the 26 players taking part in the tournament for the Penguins.
Tangradi, 22, made the Penguins’ opening-night roster last season and tallied three points (1G-2A) in 15 NHL games.