|Kris Versteeg celebrates after scoring a goal in the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game One of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on May 29, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP)
Kris Versteeg should make the Maple Leafs a better team in October, but that doesn't mean two of the players traded for him won't cause a little September pain for Toronto.
Forwards Chris DiDomenico and Phillipe Paradis will be in the Hawks' lineup Saturday night when Toronto and Chicago begin the four-team NHL rookie tournament at the John Labatt Centre in London. DiDomenico, from Woodbridge, was a promising QMJHL scorer when a severe leg injury cost him parts of two seasons. He did finish 2009-10 with 43 points in 23 regular season and playoff games with Drummondville.
Paradis was originally acquired from Carolina in a swap of first-rounders with Toronto for Jiri Tlusty and also spent last year in Quebec. The 6-foot-2 Paradis had 44 points in 63 games and two points in four starts with the Toronto Marlies. Viktor Stalberg was the principal acquisition for Chicago in the Versteeg deal.
Other notable tournament rookies:
Chicago Blackhawks: Kyle Beach, their 2008 first-round selection led the Western Hockey League with 52 goals last season. Defenceman Shawn Lalonde spent a productive year with the Belleville Bulls, amassing a career-high 56 points. Jeremy Morin won junior gold for Team USA while firing 47 goals for Kitchener.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Philly-born winger Eric Tangradi, a former second-round pick of Anaheim, landed in Pittsburgh as part of the Ryan Whitney deal at the '09 trade deadline. He was called up by the Pens for one game last year. When they won the Cup in '09, Pittsburgh picked last in the ensuing draft and ended the first round with defenceman Simon Depres, who had 47 points last year with Saint John in the QMJHL.
Ottawa Senators: Jared Cowan, the 6-foot-5 defenceman whom the Sens took a chance on at the '09 draft because of a broken leg, is going to get special attention. Forward Bobby Butler had 53 points in 39 games at the University of New Hampshire before playing two games with Ottawa. Latvian left wing Kaspars Daugavins has a scoring touch.