RALEIGH, NC (August 30, 2000) – The Carolina Hurricanes begin preparation for the 2000-01 NHL regular season with the opening of the club’s Rookie Camp this week in Kitchener, Ontario. The camp will feature 23 players, including recent Carolina draft picks and junior players on free agent try-outs.
The rookie group will undergo physicals today and practice on Thursday, August 31 before participating in a three-game, four-team rookie tournament that also includes rookies from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers. The Hurricanes’ Rookie Team game schedule is as follows:
Friday, Sept. 1, 2000vs. Toronto Rookies7:30 p.m.Kitchener Arena
Sunday, Sept. 3, 2000vs. Buffalo Rookies3:00 p.m.Kitchener Arena
Monday, Sept. 4 2000vs. NY Rangers Rookies3:00 p.m.Kitchener Arena
Headlining this year’s rookie camp are Erik Cole, Jeff Heerema, Jaroslav Svoboda, and Josef Vasicek. Cole, 21, completed his third season at Clarkson of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) last season, leading the team in goals (19) and points (30) while finishing second in penalty minutes (46). Drafted with the team’s third pick in 1998, Cole signed a multi-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on March 26, 2000. Following his signing, he played nine regular season games with the Cincinnati Cyclones (IHL), registering seven points (4g, 3a) and two penalty minutes.
Heerema, 20, completed his third season with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), leading the Sting in goals (36), assists (41), and points (77). Selected with the Hurricanes’ first pick (11th overall) in 1998, Heerema was named to 2000 OHL All-Star Game. The Thunder Bay, Ontario native signed a contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on June 1, 2000.
Svoboda, 20, completed his second season in Western Hockey League (WHL), tallying 66 points (23g, 43a) in 56 games for the Kootenay Ice. Signed to a contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on May 19, 2000, Svoboda set career highs in points and assists and was Kootenay's Player of the Month for April and Outstanding Playoff Performer.
Vasicek, who turns 20 on September 12, completed his second season in the OHL with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, ranking first on the team in assists (46), second in points (72) and third in goals (26). Drafted in 1998 with the team’s fourth pick (91st overall, Vasicek won a gold medal with Czech team in 2000 World Junior Championships along with Jaroslav Svoboda.
At the conclusion of the tournament, a select group of players will be invited to Raleigh, North Carolina, to participate in the Carolina Hurricanes professional training camp which begins on-ice training on Friday, September 8, 2000 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. The professional camp will feature eight preseason games including two matchups at the Entertainment and Sports Arena against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, September 27 and the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday, September 30.
2000 CAROLINA HURRICANES ROOKIE CAMP