Meaningful games in the NHL are not played in September but you could forgive the Winnipeg Jets for placing importance on a four-team rookie tournament that begins next Friday in Penticton, B.C.

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This article was published 5/9/2014 (2446 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Meaningful games in the NHL are not played in September but you could forgive the Winnipeg Jets for placing importance on a four-team rookie tournament that begins next Friday in Penticton, B.C.

Their future -- something they are counting on heavily -- will be on the ice together for three games.

The Jets join the top prospects and rookies of the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks for the Canucks Young Stars Classic at the South Okanagan Events Centre next Friday through Monday, Sept. 15. Each team will play three games.

The Jets named their 24-man roster on Friday, including 14 forwards and seven defencemen.

Among the headliners are a pair of first-round draft picks, 2013's Josh Morrissey, the Prince Albert Raiders defenceman who finished last season with the AHL's St. John's IceCaps, and 2014's Nikolaj Ehlers, the point-producing left-winger of the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL who signed his first NHL contract last week.

Joining Morrissey on the blue-line are his late-season IceCaps teammate Brenden Kichton, who had 10 goals and 48 points as an AHL rookie last season, 2013 draft pick Jan Kostalek, who played for Rimouski in the QMJHL last season, and 2014 draft pick Nelson Nogier of the Saskatoon Blades.

Including Ehlers, the forward group will include right-winger Scott Kosmachuk, a 2012 third-round pick who turns pro this fall, IceCaps teammates last season J.C. Lipon and Adam Lowry, as well as centres Nic Petan, Chase De Leo and Jimmy Lodge and right-winger Axel Blomqvist, all of whom have another year of junior eligibility remaining.

Eric Comrie, who also has another year of junior eligibility, rookie pro Connor Hellebuyck and Jussi Olkinuora will be the Jets goalies for the tournament.

The tournament team will be coached by Keith McCambridge, head coach of the AHL's St. John's IceCaps.

While a good portion of the future of the Jets will be on the ice for the Penticton tournament, this group will not include several well-regarded prospects who are playing U.S. college hockey -- centre Andrew Copp of Michigan (2013 draft), goalie Jason Kasdorf of RPI (2011), defenceman Tucker Poolman of North Dakota (2013) and defenceman Jack Glover of Minnesota (2014) will not be present for the tournament

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca