COLUMBUS, OHIO — The Columbus Blue Jackets will begin preparations for the 2014-15 National Hockey League season at the Annual NHL Prospect Tournament, which will be held from September 12-16 at the Center Ice Arena in Traverse City, Michigan. The 25 players participating in the tournament will undergo physicals and fitness testing as well as an on-ice practice session at the OhioHealth Ice Haus, the club’s official practice facility at Nationwide Arena, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 11 before departing for Traverse City. The on-ice session is free and open to the public. Media availability for players will be held after the practice at Nationwide Arena.
This year will mark Columbus’ 13th-straight appearance at the tournament. The Blue Jackets won the tournament championship in 2006 and 2007. This year’s participating clubs will be divided into the following:
GORDIE HOWE DIVISION – Columbus, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues; and TED LINDSAY DIVISION – Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars and New York Rangers. Practice sessions and tournament games will be held on the facility’s two sheets of ice – David’s Rink and West Rink – located at 1544 Hammond Road, Traverse City, Michigan, 49686 (Phone – 231/933-7465).
The Blue Jackets’ schedule includes:
Friday, Sept. 12
8:30 to 9:15 a.m. Practice (David’s Rink)
3:30 p.m. VS. MINNESOTA (David’s Rink)
Saturday, Sept. 13
11:30 to 12:15 p.m. Practice (David’s Rink)
7:30 p.m. VS. DETROIT (West Rink)
Sunday, Sept. 14
12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Practice (David’s Rink)
Monday, Sept. 15
9:30 to 10:15 a.m. Practice (David’s Rink)
3:30 p.m. VS. ST. LOUIS (West Rink)
Tuesday, Sept. 16
Game – Opponent, Time and Rink TBD
The Blue Jackets’ rookie camp roster features 25 players, including 19 who were selected by the club via the NHL Draft. Leading the group will be four of the club’s top picks in the last two NHL Drafts – 2014 first round pick Sonny Milano along with 2013 first round picks Alexander Wennberg, Kerby Rychel and Marko Dano. Other drafted players participating in the tournament include: 2014 – Blake Siebenaler, Julien Pelletier, Olivier Leblanc; 2013 – Oliver Bjorkstrand, Dillon Heatherington, Nick Moutrey, Markus Soberg, Peter Quenneville; 2012 – Josh Anderson, Oscar Dansk; 2011 – T.J. Tynan, Lukas Sedlak, Anton Forsberg; 2010 – Austin Madaisky; 2009 – Thomas Larkin.
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The Blue Jackets rookies will be coached in Traverse City by Jared Bednar, head coach of the club’s American Hockey League affiliate Springfield Falcons. He will be assisted by Falcons Assistant Coaches Nolan Pratt, Toby Petersen and Manny Legace along with Blue Jackets Development Coach Chris Clark.
Blue Jackets veterans and rookies will open the club’s 14th training camp with medicals and fitness testing on Thursday, September 18. The first day of on-ice workouts is scheduled for the following day with the Blue Jackets opening preseason play with a pair of split squad games on Sunday, September 21.
Columbus will visit Carolina at 1:30 p.m. prior to hosting St. Louis at 6:30 p.m. The club will open the regular season on Thursday, October 9, at the Buffalo Sabres before playing their home-opener at Nationwide Arena on Saturday, October 11 against the New York Rangers.