A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Canes finish rookie tournament with 3-1 record.

The Ottawa Senators Rookie Tournament concluded Saturday. The Hurricanes finished with a 3-1 record, good enough for second in the five-team round robin. Toronto went undefeated to win the tourney. Les Habitants went 2-2, the host team Ottawa Senators went 1-2-1(OTL), and the Florida Panthers stank up the joint, losing all four of their contests (one of them in overtime).

Most impressive was our 2004 first round draft selection Andrew Ladd, who had seven points on four goals and three assist. Also with seven points was Vince Bellissimo (two goals, five assists), who was actually drafted by Florida in the 2002 entry draft, but never signed. My understanding is that an unsigned draftee becomes a free agent after two years. Mike Stathopoulos had four points on three goals and an assist. Also with four points was Kevin "Don't Call me Erik" Estrada (one goal, three assists). After recovering from corrective vision surgery, Darryl Boyce had two goals and one helper. All in all, five of the top seven scoring players were Canes rookies. Seven of the players on the rookie team will be at camp, vying for a spot on the big team. If camp (and pre-season) goes as well as the tournament did, we may see Andrew Ladd in Raleigh sooner than we thought.

On the goaltending side of things, our guy Kevin Nastiuk had a 1-1 record, a 2.00 GAA and a save per centage of .957. He'll be among the seven "rookies" at training camp, and he has already signed a three-year deal with the club. However, it's most likely that we'll allow him to grow in the system, perhaps dominating the way Cam Ward did in the AHL last year.

The first pre-season game is only five days away, and I will be attending my first ever pre-season game a week from Sunday. Normally, I don't care about the pre-season and I forfeit my "free" tickets, but this year I'll be going. I'm very much looking forward to seeing some of my favorites as well as all of the new guys.

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