Aug 25, 2012 - 02:11 MDT


After being away from home for two years, Blake Penner is trying to stay home as a WHL rookie.

The 16-year-old forward is looking to make good on his first chance to make the roster of the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Tigers selected Penner in the first round, 18th overall in the 2011 WHL draft.

Penner spent last season at the Canadian International Hockey Academy in Rockland, Ont., which is about a 30-minute drive east of Ottawa. In his final year of bantam, Penner played for the Notre Dame Hounds in Wilcox, Sask.

"It is always my goal to kind of make this team as a 16-year-old," said Penner. "It is always a good feeling coming back and knowing the organization a bit for the second time and going through it for the second time."

During his past two hockey seasons away from the Gas City, Penner was the captain of both teams he was on. With the Voyageurs last season, he collected 12 goals and nine assists in 25 games.

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