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Bulletin: Ottawa Senators invite 23 players to annual rookie tournament

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators
OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators pre-season, sponsored by Canadian Tire local dealers, begins next week with the team’s annual rookie camp. Today, the Senators announced the names of the 23 players who have been invited to take part in a four-team round-robin tournament from Sept. 10 to 13 at the General Motors Centre in Oshawa, Ont. Joining the Senators prospects are squads from the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins and host Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Senators rookies will be led by Kurt Kleinendorst, head coach of the Calder Cup-winning Binghamton Senators, and assistant Steve Stirling. Ottawa’s hockey staff will also be in Oshawa for the tournament.

The squad is comprised of two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 14 forwards (complete roster below). Eighteen (18) players were drafted by the Senators, three were signed as free agents, one player was acquired via trade and one is participating under an amateur tryout agreement.

Eight of the invited players saw American Hockey League action last season, while forward Stephane Da Costa, defenceman Patrick Wiercioch and goaltender Robin Lehner played their first NHL games with the Senators during the 2010-11 campaign. The Senators’ 2011 rookie tournament roster is also comprised of five first-round NHL draft picks – Jared Cowen (ninth, 2009), David Rundblad (17th, 2009), Mika Zibanejad (sixth, 2011), Stefan Noesen (21st, 2011) and Matt Puempel (24th, 2011).

The Senators rookies are tentatively scheduled to begin this year’s camp with an open practice at the Bell Sensplex on Friday, Sept. 9, at 9:30 a.m. before leaving for the tournament.

The Ottawa Senators’ 2011-12 rookie tournament roster is as follows:

Goaltenders: Robin Lehner (Binghamton - AHL, Ottawa - NHL), Matej Machovsky (Guelph - OHL, Brampton - OHL).
Defencemen: Mark Borowiecki (Clarkson - ECAC, Binghamton - AHL), Jared Cowen (Spokane - WHL, Binghamton - AHL), Eric Gryba (Binghamton - AHL), Jordan Fransoo (Brandon - WHL), Josh Godfrey (South Carolina - ECHL, Hershey - AHL, Chicago - AHL), David Rundblad (Skelleftea - SEL), Patrick Wiercioch (Binghamton - AHL, Ottawa - NHL).
Forwards: Louie Caporusso (Michigan - CCHA), Corey Cowick (Elmira - ECHL, Binghamton - AHL), Jakub Culek (Rimouski - QMJHL), Stephane Da Costa (Merrimack College - Hockey East, Ottawa - NHL), Derek Grant (Michigan State - CCHA, Binghamton - AHL), Wacey Hamilton (Medicine Hat - WHL), Darren Kramer (Spokane - WHL), Stefan Noesen (Plymouth - OHL), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (Gatineau - QMJHL), Andre Petersson (HV 71 - SEL), Shane Prince (Ottawa - OHL), Matt Puempel (Peterborough - OHL), Mark Stone (Brandon - WHL), Mika Zibanejad (Djurgardens - SEL).
*Roster subject to change.

2011 rookie tournament schedule at Oshawa’s General Motors Centre
Saturday, Sept. 10: Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa, 2 p.m.; Chicago vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 11: Ottawa vs. Chicago, 2 p.m.; Toronto vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 13: Chicago vs. Pittsburgh, 2 p.m.; Toronto vs. Ottawa, 7 p.m.

The Senators have participated in 11 rookie tournaments since their first appearance in 1999. Last September in London, Ont., Ottawa finished the round-robin tied for first with the Pittsburgh Penguins after posting two wins and one loss in three games.

Since the first tournament in 1999, past rookie team rosters have included the following participants who have also played for the Senators: Jared Cowen (2010), Kaspars Daugavins (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), Nick Foligno (2007), Erik Karlsson (2009), Robin Lehner (2009 and 2010), Brian Lee (2007), Chris Neil (1999), Peter Regin (2008, 2009), Jason Spezza (2001 and 2002), Zack Smith (2008, 2009) and Patrick Wiercioch (2010).

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