COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets will begin preparations for the 2016-17 National Hockey League season at the Annual NHL Prospect Tournament to be held from September 16-20 at the Center Ice Arena in Traverse City, Michigan. The 23 players participating in the tournament will undergo physicals and fitness testing prior to taking part in 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 15.
The on-ice session is free and open to the public. Media availability with the players will be held immediately following practice before the team departs for Traverse City.
This year will mark Columbus’ 15th-straight appearance at the tournament. The tournament’s two-time defending champions, the Blue Jackets also won the tournament in 2006 and 2007. This year’s participating clubs will be divided into the following: GORDIE HOWE DIVISION – Columbus, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues; and TED LINDSAY DIVISION – Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild 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 1600 Chartwell Drive, Traverse City, Michigan, 49686 (Phone – 231/933-7465).
The Blue Jackets’ schedule includes:
Friday, Sept. 16
11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Practice (David’s Rink)
7:30 p.m. vs. DETROIT (West Rink)
Saturday, Sept. 17
11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Practice (West Rink)
7:30 p.m. at ST. LOUIS (West Rink)
Sunday, Sept. 18
9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Practice (West Rink)
Monday, Sept. 19
9:30 to 10:15 a.m. Practice (West Rink)
3:30 p.m. at CHICAGO (West Rink)
Tuesday, Sept. 20
Game – Opponent, Time and Rink TBD
The Blue Jackets’ rookie camp roster features 23 players, including 12 who were selected by the club via the NHL Draft. Leading the group will be the club’s top picks in each of the past three NHL Drafts – 2016 first round pick Pierre-Luc Dubois (third), 2015 first round pick Zach Werenski (eighth) and 2014 first round pick Sonny Milano (16th). Other drafted players participating in the tournament include: 2016 – Vitaly Abramov, Calvin Thurkauf; 2015 – Paul Bittner, Keegan Kolesar, Sam Ruopp, Markus Nutivaara; 2014 – Blake Siebenaler; 2013 – Dillon Heatherington, Nick Moutrey.
The Blue Jackets rookies will be coached in Traverse City by John Madden, head coach of the Cleveland Monsters, the club's American Hockey League affiliate. He will be assisted by Monsters assistant coaches Toby Petersen, Steve McCarthy and Manny Legace, along with Blue Jackets Development Coach Chris Clark.
Blue Jackets veterans and rookies will open the club’s 16th training camp with medicals and fitness testing on Thursday, September 22 with the first day of on-ice workouts scheduled for the following day. The Blue Jackets open preseason play on Sunday, September 25 when they face off against the Blues in a split-squad series, including at 7:00 p.m. at Nationwide Arena. The club will open the regular season on Thursday, October 13 at home against the Boston Bruins.
79 - Vitaly Abramov
76 - Francis Beauvillier
57 - Paul Bittner
18 - Pierre-Luc Dubois
85 - Keegan Kolesar
92 - Darby Llewellyn (FA invite)
64 - Jordan Maletta
22 - Sonny Milano
50 - Nick Moutrey
32 - Dante Salituro
67 - Justin Scott
88 - Kole Sherwood
83 - Calvin Thurkauf
52 - Stephen Gibson (FA invite)
91 - Jacob Graves
37 - Dillon Heatherington
84 - Frank Hora
65- Markus Nutivaara
86 - Sam Ruopp
78 - Blake Siebenaler
8 - Zach Werenski
80 - Jeremy Brodeur (FA invite)
95 - Lucas Peressini (FA invite)