The beginning of autumn and the onset of National Hockey League camps were once heralded by the annual Young Stars Classic rookie tournament in scenic Penticton, British Columbia. Well, the tournament is coming back and the Calgary Flames will be a part of it in Sept. 2020.
Hosted by the Vancouver Canucks and first held in 2010, the Penticton tournament is a lovely excuse for wine, golf, and several games between aspiring NHL stars. Now prominent Flames such as Dillon Dube, Mark Jankowski, Rasmus Andersson, Andrew Mangiapane and others have cut their teeth in Penticton and then made their way to impressive performances at NHL camps.
The Canucks, Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets will be part of the 2020 event.
Once an annual event only disrupted by NHL labour disputes, the Young Stars Classic was diminished in 2018 when the Flames and Oilers both declined to participate – the Flames had a weird camp that saw much of their club head to China while the Oilers headed to Germany and Sweden, making the logistics of also going to Penticton pretty challenging. The tournament wasn’t held at all in 2019, with the Flames and Oilers instead playing a pair of rookie games closer to home.
But the Young Stars Classic is finally back and hockey is all the better for it.