Soon enough, it’ll be game on for the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Before then, though, the two organizations’ top prospects will hook up in a four-team rookie tournament Sept. 13-15 at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. The Florida Panthers are the hosts for the three-day affair, which also includes Toronto Maple Leafs rookies.
Though the Senators’ full rookie tournament roster hasn’t been set yet, the team has confirmed goaltender Brian Elliott will be among the group in Kitchener, along with forwards Alexander Nikulin, Ilya Zubov
, Jesse Winchester
and Jim O’Brien, Ottawa’s top selection in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Binghamton Senators head coach Cory Clouston and assistant Mike Busniuk will be behind the bench for the tournament. The Senators face the Panthers rookies on Sept. 13 at 2 p.m., then take on the Leafs the following day at 6 p.m. before facing off against the Penguins prospects Sept. 15 at 2 p.m.
For the Senators, it’s their ninth rookie tournament since 1999. A year ago in Kitchener, Ottawa went 3-1-0 in round-robin play against the same three clubs before dropping the final to Pittsburgh 5-1.
In preparation for this year’s tournament, Senators rookies will work out Sept. 10 at 2 p.m. at the Bell Sensplex; Sept. 11 at 9 a.m. at Scotiabank Place and Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. at Scotiabank Place.
Several current Senators have participated in past rookie tournaments, including centres Jason Spezza
, Mike Fisher, Cody Bass and Chris Kelly; forwards Antoine Vermette, Chris Neil
and Nick Foligno
, and defencemen Brian Lee, Andrej Meszaros, Anton Volchenkov and Christoph Schubert.