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2005 Rookie Tournament Preview

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
The Third “Pacific Division Shootout” featuring teams from Anaheim, San Jose, Los Angeles and Phoenix will be held at Logitech Ice in San Jose from September 7-11.

For Mighty Ducks fans planning on attending the four-team round robin event, Anaheim starts its play on Wednesday, September 7th with a 4:00 pm game against the Kings rookies. Phoenix and San Jose meet at 7:30pm.

On Thursday, September 8th, the Mighty Ducks will play in the day’s second contest, taking on San Jose around 7:30pm.  Phoenix and Los Angeles get underway at 4:00pm. All four competing teams will practice at various times on Friday before the tournament continues on Saturday, September 10th.

Anaheim will play the Phoenix Coyotes around 4:30pm that afternoon, following the Kings-Sharks opener at 1:00pm.

The consolation game is scheduled for 1:00pm on Sunday afternoon, September 11th, while the Championship game is set for 4:30pm at Logitech Ice.

All games in the tournament will take place on Logitech Ice’s North Rink (1500 South 10th street in San Jose). This event is a chance for fans to see the future stars of the NHL as they compete against their own peer groups.

Brian Burke, Executive Vice-President and General Manager of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim says it’s a luxury for a lot of the teams to put their young players into a tournament like this.

“A large number of NHL teams don’t do this,” says Burke. “They don’t have the proximity or the financial capability to do it.  In Vancouver, we tried to do it every year with the Alberta teams and we weren’t successful. So, I think it’s a real luxury for a team to be able to put their young players and rookies into a game like this.”

“It gives you a real good, quick look at your young guys,” said Burke. “You can make some early assessments. You can do some team building among the guys that are there, as far as getting them to stick together and think of themselves as Mighty Ducks. I think it’s great.”

Burke has this message for the young players and rookies who participate in the tournament for the first time.

“You have to dance with the girl that you bring to the dance,” added Burke. “We drafted you for a reason. If you are a goal scorer, we want you to score goals. Don’t think, all of a sudden, you have to be crazy out there. If you are a tough guy, we want you to play tough. Don’t think, all of a sudden, you have to score goals.”

 “I think it’s very simple,’ added Burke. “Players accept the fact that we drafted them for a purpose and they accept that role, even when they get excited in games like these.”

 The majority of each club’s top NHL prospects will be participating in the event including Anaheim’s 2003 (Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry), 2004 (Ladislav Smid) and 2005 (Bobby Ryan) first round draft picks.

Among those Kings prospects scheduled to compete are: Forwards Jeff Tambellini (first-round draft choice, 2003); Konstantin Pushkarev (second-round draft choice, 2003), Dany Roussin (second-round draft choice, 2005), Petr Kanko (third round draft choice, 2002) and goalie Yutaka Fukufuji (eighth-round draft choice, 2004).

Among the Coyotes top prospects that are scheduled to compete include defenseman Keith Ballard, defenseman Matt Jones, forward Randall Gelech and forward Jakub Koreis.

Shark fans will be able to see their first round picks Milan Michalek, Devin Setoguchi, Lukas Kaspar and Steve Bernier.

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