NHL’s Young Stars set to shine on television

The spotlight has just gotten bigger for Penticton and potential NHLers in the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars tournament.

Calgary Flames prospect Jon Rheault played in the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Tournament last year in the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Calgary Flames prospect Jon Rheault played in the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Tournament last year in the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The spotlight has just gotten bigger for Penticton and potential NHLers in the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars tournament.

On Wednesday the Canucks announced that in partnership with Rogers Sportsnet, they will broadcast two games of the 2011 Young Stars Tournament while all eight games will be streamed live on Canucks.com and sportsnet.ca.

“We are excited to have two of our Young Stars tournament games broadcast by Rogers Sportsnet,” said Canucks Sports and Entertainment chief operating officer Victor de Bonis. “We share a commitment with Rogers Sportsnet to deliver a quality and entertaining product to our fans and are thrilled to be able to showcase some up-and-coming hockey stars to those fans unable to attend the tournament in Penticton.”

Action hits the ice at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Sunday and concludes Sept. 15. The tournament will feature prospects from the Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets. Games to be broadcasted include the matchup Sept. 11 between the Oilers and Canucks at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 12 at 4 p.m. with the Canucks and Flames.

The Canucks prospects roster features 2011 first round selection Nicklas Jensen, as well as Jordan Schroeder, Bill Sweatt, Anton Rodin, Yann Sauve and Kevin Connauton, among others. The Oilers prospects roster includes the 2011 first overall selection Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, as well as Colten Teubert, Curtis Hamilton, son of Kelowna Rockets owner Bruce Hamilton, and David Musil. The Calgary Flames prospects roster includes 2011 first-round selection Sven Bartschi, as well as Ryan Howse, Max Reinhart and Tyler Wotherspoon. A total of 20 players from last year’s tournament played in the NHL last season, including Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Cam Fowler, Mikael Backlund and Chris Tanev.

Young Stars tournament organizing chair Andrew Jakubeit said there are still good seats available. While it was slower than the committee would have liked during the summer, Jakubeit said people are clicking in that hockey season is here.

“I think they remember last year’s success,” said Jakubeit. “We have seen a spike of late.”

Tickets are available at www.valleyfirstTIX.com, by phone at 1-877-763-2849 or in person at the South Okanagan Events Centre box office. Limited tournaments packages are still available at a cost of $100.

Jakubeit expects fans to be excited to see Vancouver and Edmonton again.

“Edmonton, their No. 1 draft pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is living up to a lot of the hype that is around him,” said Jakubeit, who is excited and nervous at the same time.