Maple Leafs Host Rookie Tourney
(August 24, 2006) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Thursday that 23 players will participate in a five-day Rookie Tournament at Ricoh Coliseum, home of the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies. The players will take part in four games beginning September 8 versus prospect teams from the Montreal Canadiens, Florida Panthers and York University, located in Toronto.
"This tournament is a great opportunity for these players to compete against players that are at the same stage of their hockey careers," said Maple Leafs Vice-President and General Manager John Ferguson. "It also allows our organization, as a group, to get a good, first-hand look at our prospects in a competitive environment."
Toronto prospects attending include 2006 first round pick, Jiri Tlusty (pronounced tah-LOO-stee). Tlusty will be attending his first North American training after spending the last five seasons with HC Kladno in the Czech Republic. Joining Tlusty will be the Canadian Hockey League's most outstanding goaltender, Justin Pogge, and forward Robbie Earl of the NCAA champion Wisconsin Badgers.
Toronto Marlies new head coach Greg Gilbert will be behind the Toronto bench for the tournament.