- After securing a convincing 8-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins' prospects on Friday afternoon in the opener of the 2016 Rookie Tournament in London, ON, the Canadiens' young guns were back on the ice on Saturday morning preparing for a tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs' top youngsters at Budweiser Gardens.
- Zachary Fucale will get the start in goal for the Canadiens, while Michael McNiven will serve as his back up. Up front, Martin Lapointe will keep the line of Artturi Lehkonen, Michael McCarron and Nikita Scherbak together after they combined to generate eight points against the Penguins. Scratches on the back end include Mikhail Sergachev, Noah Juulsen and Brett Lernout.
- One of six invitees currently attending the Canadiens' rookie camp, right-winger Guillaume Asselin will get his first opportunity to impress the team's brass on Saturday night against Toronto.
The 24-year-old Quebec City native has been a force to be reckoned with in the Canadian collegiate ranks for the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres (UQTR) over the last three seasons, leading his squad with 27 goals and 47 points in 28 games during the 2015-16 campaign.
"I'm really excited. I'm feeling a little stressed, but it's good stress. I'm just looking forward to showing what I can do on the ice," shared Asselin, who will be featured on a line with Jeremiah Addison and Matthew Bradley. "I want to show that I play in a good league [in the OUA - Ontario University Athletics] and that there are good players that can come out of there. I'm very happy that I'm the one representing the league, in a way."
Getting a chance to experience the historic Canadiens-Maple Leafs rivalry first-hand will surely make Asselin's rookie tournament debut all the more memorable.
"You watch it on TV from time to time. I'm really looking forward to putting on the jersey and hitting the ice," added Asselin, a QMJHL grad following stints with both the Montreal Juniors and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. "I'm not thinking about school right now. I'm focusing on hockey only."
- Left-winger Jeremiah Addison expects both teams to put on a good show on Saturday night.
Video: Asselin hours before his first game
"This is a great game. I played in it last year. Just the whole atmosphere, you can feel it, the rivalry," said the 19-year-old Brampton, ON native, who is coming off a two-point performance against the Penguins. "I think it'll be a fast-paced, chippy game. Everybody is going to be in everyone's face. It'll be an exciting game to play in."
These kinds of games, meanwhile, suit Addison just fine.
"I like that type of game," said Addison, who put up 27 goals and 56 points in 66 games with the OHL's Ottawa 67's last season. "The more you play like that, the more the ice opens up for everybody and allows me to be successful."
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST. The English radio feed of the contest will be available on TSN 690.
Probable lineup against Toronto:
Lehkonen - McCarron - Scherbak
McCool - Audette - Bitten
Fiore - Eansor - Gregoire
Addison - Bradley - Asselin
Bourque - Henrikson
Parisi - Johnston
Zipp - Mete