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2018 Rookie Showcase: Canadiens vs. Senators — Game thread, start time, TV schedule, and how to watch

Jesperi Kotkaniemi will be on the ice for his first competitive action with the Habs.

Scott Matla / EOTP

How to watch

Start time: 7:00 PM EDT / 4:00 PM PDT
In Canada: RDS Info (French)
Online: Canadiens.com

A long off-season comes to an end as the youngest members of the Montreal Canadiens take to the ice on Friday evening. They will be facing off against the best prospects from the two Ontario teams this weekend, beginning with the Ottawa Senators tonight.

There will be plenty of interesting players to keep an eye on. The four WHL defencemen selected in 2017 will be showing how they’ve developed over the past 14 months, while the newest complement of centres chosen in 2018 will show what they bring to the table.

Chief among them is Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who intends to battle for a roster spot after being the third player to hear his name in June’s entry draft. He slowly grew more comfortable on the ice during development camp two months ago, and has been playing in various tournaments and pre-season games since. He should be one of the most prepared players for the new season, and that should let him be a standout on the ice.

Jake Evans and Will Bitten will also be making their cases to stick around awhile when the NHL training camp begins following the showcase. The playmakers are set to begin their professional careers, and this will be the first step on that path.

There’s little on the line as far as a tournament award is concerned, but with a prospect system now loaded with players, those donning the Canadiens jersey tonight will be eager to prove they have what it takes to wear it on a more permanent basis.

See the 30 players who will be taking part.

Here’s the lineup for tonight’s game.