The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim have some of their top young players in San Jose, California this week for the third annual rookie tournament.
Rookies from Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Jose will compete with the Mighty Ducks for the championship at Logitech Ice. The Ducks come in as the defending champions of this event after capturing their first title at Anaheim Ice last September.
“The better the team does, the better the individual does in this tourney,” said Tim Brent, one of the Ducks prospects who will play at center for Anaheim in their first game Wednesday night. “That’s the way we are going to approach it. Hopefully we can win it again.”
“Everybody seems pretty relaxed which is nice to see,” added Brent, who scored 18 points in 46 games with Cincinnati last season. “Usually, you come in here and for some guys, it’s their first camp. So, everybody is nervous and doesn’t say a whole lot. But this group of players can laugh and cut up at times. So, it’s a more relaxed group coming in to this tourney. That’s usually a good thing.”
Defenseman Aaron Rome says guys look to make a good first impression at a rookie camp.
“You want to work hard and find your way,” says Rome. “Just do the things that got you here. It’s a different group than last year. I’m older and other guys are younger. Work hard and try to do as well as we can.”
Rome spent last season in Cincinnati of the American Hockey League. He played in 75 games, scoring two goals and adding 14 assists for 16 points.
“It was young gun team last season in Cincinnati,’ mentioned Rome, signed by the Ducks as a free agent in June of 2004. “I felt I got better as the year went on. I started to get to play more during the end of the year and the playoffs. We had a good group of guys and it was a lot of fun. We did pretty well coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the first round of the playoffs. I thought we did pretty well, but we could have done better.”
For Rome, who played five full seasons in the WHL, this tourney and rookie camp is an important one for him.
“Sure, every camp is important,” says Rome. “You want to come out and put your best foot forward. You want to show the talents you have and what got you here. Work as hard as you can.”
The Mighty Ducks open up the tourney with a game against the Los Angeles Kings rookies at 4:00pm on Wednesday. That contest is to be followed by the Phoenix-San Jose first round game around 7:30pm.
First year Portland Pirates coach Kevin Dineen will put the team through a morning skate that gets them ready for their match-up with the Kings in the afternoon.
Tim Brent and Aaron Rome are just two young Ducks prospects trying to make an impression during this “Pacific Division Shootout” in San Jose. Stay right here on the Mighty Ducks website through the entire tournament for game stories, quotes from players and management and all the news regarding this week’s action.