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Rookie Tournament Preview: The kickoff to the new hockey season

The rookies take part of the action in San Jose this weekend.

Colorado Avalanche v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The unofficial kickoff to the 2022-23 season is here, starting off today in San Jose with the Rookie Tournament. In the Bay Area, the San Jose Sharks and San Jose Barracuda will host six teams of rookies for this weekend’s festivities at their new facility.

Four teams come from the Pacific Division and the remaining two come from the Central Division. The four from the Pacific are the Sharks as mentioned earlier, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, and Vegas Golden Knights. Meanwhile, the Central involves the Arizona Coyotes and of course the Colorado Avalanche.

The Avs practiced Thursday morning before flying out to San Jose to take part in the tournament. The practice saw some very new rookies as well as a few that played in the NHL last year such as Justus Annunen and Ben Meyers.

The two previously mentioned players are going to be the stars of the Avalanche rookie class this weekend. The focus will also be on some of the few-remaining top prospects the Avs have left in their pipeline such as Oskar Olausson and Jean Luc-Foudy.

At practice on Thursday, Meyers impressed with his defensive stature while Olausson was impressive moving forward as well. Meyers will likely be a part of the Avs squad on Opening Night, but depending on Olausson’s performance in this tournament and preseason play that starts next week he could be a dark-horse for a roster spot then too.

The Avs rookies traveled to San Jose yesterday and will be ready for a full weekend. They start off Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. MT against the Kings. The next night, they play the hosts of the tournament, the Sharks, at 8 p.m. MT. Sunday is a practice day for the rookies before they play their final game of the tournament against the Coyotes at 11 a.m. MT on Monday before traveling home.

Those that come home and get the chance to participate in training camp have a quick turnaround, as they have only a couple of days to rest as training camp starts on September 22. The names that will likely participate in both training camp and rookie camp include Meyers, Annunen, Foudy, and Olausson at minimum.

There is currently no announcement on any coverage of the events of the four-day weekend tournament. If there is any, it may just be on social media through the Avs’s Twitter account and/or a YouTube stream from a single camera within the rink. The entire roster for the Avs’ rookie tournament can be found here.

It’s here y’all. Hockey is back. Let’s enjoy the ride en route towards a back-to-back run to the Stanley Cup.