ROOKIES REPORT ON MONDAY
Columbus to join Atlanta, Minnesota, Detroit and Tampa Bay for camp and prospect tournament
COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets will take their first on-ice steps towards the opening of the 2005-06 season September 6-10 as 23 players will participate in a rookie camp and prospect tournament at the Center Ice Arena in Traverse City, Michigan. The team will conduct its first practice on September 6, at 11 a.m.
Blue Jackets veterans and rookies will officially open the club's fifth training camp on Tuesday, September 13, with a practice/scrimmage at Nationwide Arena at 6 p.m. The session will be free and open to the public. A complete schedule will be released prior to the opening of training camp.
The club's rookies will be in Traverse City to take part in the Annual NHL Prospect Tournament, which will feature the Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Atlanta Thrashers, Minnesota Wild and Tampa Bay Lightning. Practice sessions and tournament games will be held on the facility's two sheets of ice - David's Rink and the Republic Rink - located at 1544 Hammond Road, Traverse City, Michigan 49686 (Phone - 231/933-7465). Columbus' schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, Sept. 6 - On-Ice Practice, Republic Rink (11 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
Â Â vs. Minnesota Wild, Republic Rink 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 7 - On-Ice Practice, Republic Rink (9:45 to 10:45 a.m.)
vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, David's Rink 7 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 8 - On-Ice Practice, Republic Rink 12:30 to 2 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 9 - On-Ice Practice, David's Rink 9:45 to 10:45 a.m.
vs. Atlanta Thrashers, David's Rink 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 10 - vs. Detroit Red Wings, Republic Rink 2:30 p.m.
The Blue Jackets rookie camp roster will feature 23 players, including 17 who were selected by the club via the NHL Entry Draft. Leading the group will be 2005 first round pick Gilbert Brule, 2004 first round pick Alexandre Picard and 2003 second round pick Dan Fritsche.
Brule was the sixth pick in this year's draft following a stellar 2004-05 season in which he was a Western Hockey League First Team All-Star selection and the Canadian Hockey League's Scholastic Player of the Year after registering 39-48-87 and 169 penalty minutes with the Vancouver Giants. Picard, who was the eighth overall pick in the 2004 Entry Draft, ranked eighth in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in scoring with 40-45-85 and 160 penalty minutes in 65 games with the Lewiston MAINEiacs. Fritsche, who appeared in 19 games with the Blue Jackets as an 18-year-old in 2003-04, tallied 18-19-37 and 18 penalty minutes in 30 games with Sarnia and London of the Ontario Hockey League. He helped London win the Memorial Cup and represented the United States at the World Junior Championships for the second-straight year.
The Blue Jackets rookies will be coached in Traverse City by Gary Agnew, head coach of Columbus' American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. He will be assisted by Crunch Assistant Coach Ross Yates. Columbus President and General Manager Doug MacLean, Executive Vice President and Assistant General Manager Jim Clark and Director of Amateur Scouting Don Boyd will lead members of the organization's hockey operations staff who will also be on hand for the camp and tournament.
Tickets for Blue Jackets pre-season games are currently on sale, while regular season games go on sale Friday, September 16. Tickets may be purchased at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, the Blue Jackets Zones at Chiller Dublin, Chiller Easton and Chiller North, all Ticketmaster ticket centers, by phone at (614) 431-3600 or via the internet at www.BlueJackets.com and ticketmaster.com. For information on full season tickets starting as low as $13 per game, mini-season ticket plans or group tickets, call (800) NHL-COLS.
-- CBJ --