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Montreal Canadiens prospects to expect at this year’s Rookie Tournament

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The first event of the new NHL season is a mere month away.

(Shanna Martin/Eyes on the Prize) Mikhail Sergachev
First round pick Mikhail Sergachev should play for the Canadiens during the Rookie Tournament
Shanna Martin/Eyes on the Prize

We are exactly one month away from the 2016 Rookie Tournament that will happen over three days in London, Ontario — from September 16th to the 18th — featuring the brightest prospects of the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, and Pittsburgh Penguins.

With this event, we can officially put an end to the excruciating off-season and launch ourselves head-first into the 2016-17 NHL season.

This is the second year that the Canadiens will forego the traditional rookie training camp in favour of the tournament format. Of course, the big attraction at the Rookie Tournament should be Auston Matthews, but he will be busy at the World Cup of Hockey running concurrently with the training games. The Maple Leafs were strong at last year’s tournament, and despite missing Matthews look to be the team to beat again this year.

Last season, 26 players took part for the Montreal Canadiens, including five tryouts, of which three emerged with contracts: Markus Eisenschmid, Michael McNiven and Angelo Miceli. A fourth, Dryden Hunt, didn’t get a contract, but was invited yet again to July’s development camp, and was probably slated to return to the Canadiens rookie tournament before he was gobbled up by the Florida Panthers.

The list of invitees last year was comprised of unsigned draft picks and players with no more than one professional season under their belt. Prospects in the NCAA are not eligible to participate under collegiate rules, so we won’t be seeing Jake Evans, Nikolas Koberstein, Casey Staum, or Hayden Hawkey at the tournament. In addition, as the European seasons are underway, it’s probably unlikely we will see Arvid Henrikson or Lukas Vejdemo. Using that criteria, here is a quick list of who we might see square off against the future Sens, Pens, and Leafs:

Goalies (3)

  • Zachary Fucale
  • Charlie Lindgren
  • Michael McNiven

Defencemen (8)

  • Simon Bourque
  • Josiah Didier
  • Ryan Johnston
  • Noah Juulsen
  • Brett Lernout
  • Victor Mete
  • Tom Parisi
  • Mikhail Sergachev

Forwards (13)

  • Jeremiah Addison
  • Daniel Audette
  • Will Bitten
  • Tim Bozon
  • Matt Bradley
  • Markus Eisenschmid
  • Jeremy Gregoire
  • Artturi Lehkonen (not certain he makes it over for the rookie tournament)
  • Mark MacMillan
  • Michael McCarron
  • Michael Pezzetta
  • Martin Reway
  • Nikita Scherbak

As was the case last year, you could probably expect a few tryouts to be invited as well to round out the roster a little bit. It’ll be a good way to see how the prospect pool compares to some of the other teams in the Eastern Conference.