The Columbus Blue Jackets will take their first on-ice steps towards the opening of the 2006-07 season September 8-12 as 24 players will participate in a rookie camp and prospect tournament at the Center Ice Arena in Traverse City, Michigan. The team will conduct its first practice on Thursday, Sept. 7 from 11-11:45 a.m. at the Dispatch Ice Haus, prior to departing for Traverse City. To view the Blue Jackets rookie roster click here
Blue Jackets veterans and rookies will officially open the club's sixth training camp with physicals and strength testing on Thursday, September 14, before taking the ice for the first time on Friday, September 15. A complete schedule will be released prior to the opening of training camp.
The club's rookies will be in Traverse City to take part in the Annual NHL Prospect Tournament, which will feature the Blue Jackets, Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning. Practice sessions and tournament games will be held on the facility's two sheets of ice – David's Rink and the Republic Rink – located at 1544 Hammond Road, Traverse City, Michigan 49686 (Phone – 231/933-7465). Columbus' schedule is as follows:
|2006 Rookie Camp Schedule |
|Date ||Event ||Place ||Time |
|9/8 ||On-Ice Practice ||David’s Rink ||9:45-10:30 a.m. |
| ||vs. Minnesota Wild ||David’s Rink ||4 p.m. |
|9/9 ||On-Ice Practice ||Republic Rink ||11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. |
| ||vs. St. Louis Blues ||David’s Rink ||7:30 p.m. |
|9/10 ||On-Ice Practice ||Republic Rink ||1:15-2:15 p.m. |
|9/11 ||On-Ice Practice ||David’s Rink ||9:30-10:15 a.m. |
| ||vs. Dallas Stars ||David’s Rink ||3 p.m. |
|9/12 ||7th Place Game (4th East vs. 4th West) ||Republic Rink ||2:30 p.m. |
| ||5th Place Game (3rd East vs. 3rd West) ||David’s Rink ||6 p.m. |
| ||3rd Place Game (2nd East vs. 2nd West) ||Republic Rink ||2:30 p.m. |
| ||Championship Game (1st East vs. 1st West) ||David’s Rink ||6 p.m. |
The Blue Jackets rookie camp roster will feature 24 players, including 20 who were selected by the club via the NHL Entry Draft. Leading the group will be 2005 second round pick Adam McQuaid and third round pick Kris Russell as well as 2006 third round pick Steve Mason. Columbus' top pick in this year's draft, center Derick Brassard, suffered a shoulder injury last week during camp with Drummondville (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) and will miss the prospect's tournament.
McQuaid, the Blue Jackets' second pick in 2005, tallied 3-16-19 and 98 penalty minutes in 66 games with Sudbury in 2004-05. Last season he netted 3-14-17 with 107 penalty minutes in 68 games. In three OHL seasons, McQuaid has registered 9-38-47, 230 penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of +25 in 181 games. Russell was named to the WHL All-Star team and won the Brad Hornung Trophy as the league’s most sportsmanlike player in 2005-06 after notching 14-33-47 and 18 penalty minutes in 55 games with Medicine Hat. A third round in pick at this year's draft, Mason, was 5-3-0 with a 2.66 and .931 save percentage in 12 games with the London of the OHL in 2005-06.
The Blue Jackets rookies will be coached in Traverse City by Ross Yates, head coach of the club's AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch. He will be assisted by Crunch Assistant Coach Trent Cull. Columbus President and General Manager Doug MacLean, Executive Vice President and Assistant General Manager Jim Clark, Director of Player Personnel Don Boyd and Director of Amateur Scouting Paul Castron will lead members of the organization’s hockey operations staff who will also be on hand for the camp and tournament.