CHL Top Prospects Game Preview

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Thursday night is the CHL Top Prospects Game. Hosted by the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, 40 of the top draft eligible prospects will play a game in front of many NHL general managers and scouts.

CHL Top Prospects Game Preview

Here is what you need to know. The Top Prospects game consists of two teams, Team Cherry and Team Orr. They are coached by, you guessed it, Don Cherry and Bobby Orr. The word coached  is in italics because the players just kind of go out and play. Cherry and Orr essentially keep an arms length from the players and let them do their thing. Players are picked by NHL teams. Each team is given a nomination sheet. On that sheet the teams name four goalies, 12 defensemen and 24 forwards.

The teams are as follows:

Team Cherry

Goaltenders:

Evan Fitzpatrick (Sherbrooke Phoenix)

Zach Sawchenko (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Defencemen:

(C) Jakob Chychrun (Sarnia Sting)

Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings)

Sean Day (Mississauga Steelheads)

Samuel Girard (Shawinigan Cataractes)

Lucas Johansen (Kelowna Rockets)

Markus Niemelainen (Saginaw Spirit)

Forwards:

Vitalii Abramov (Gatineau Olympiques)

Ty Ronning (Vancouver Giants)

Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)

Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)

(A) Dillon Dube (Kelowna Rockets)

(A) Julien Gauthier (Val-d’Or Foreurs)

Tim Gettinger (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Noah Gregor (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Max Jones (London Knights)

Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)

Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)

Sam Steel (Regina Pats)

 

Team Orr

Goaltenders:

Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)

Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)

Defencemen:

(A) Jake Bean (Calgary Hitmen)

Luke Green (Saint John Sea Dogs)

Libor Hajek (Saskatoon Blades)

Olli Juolevi (London Knights)

Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor Spitfires)

Logan Stanley (Windsor Spitfires)

Forwards:

Nathan Bastian (Mississauga Steelheads)

Will Bitten (Flint Firebirds)

(A) Pierre-Luc Dubois (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)

Brett Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Jack Kopacka (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Pascal Laberge (Victoriaville Tigres)

Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads)

Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)

Otto Somppi (Halifax Mooseheads)

Simon Stransky (Prince Albert Raiders)

(C) Matthew Tkachuk (London Knights)

 

Players to Watch:

Obviously all 40 players are ranked very highly and every player is of major interest to the NHL. With that being said here are just a few players, one from each CHL league, to keep an eye on during the game on Thursday night.

Matthew Tkachuk (London Knights)

Tkachuk is currently fourth in the OHL with 70 points in 37 games. Along with that, during the IIHF World Juniors he tied for the United States lead with 11 points to help the U.S. win the bronze medal. Tkachuk was also named the No. 1 North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings. Tkachuk will captain Team Orr with alternates Jake Bean of the Calgary Hitmen and Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Julien Gauthier (Val-d’Or Foreurs)

In 35 regular-season games played for the Val-d’Or Foreurs, Gauthier has put up 33 goals and 10 assists. In the NHL Central Scouting’s 2016 midterm rankings Gauthier was ranked fourth and was the highest ranked player from the QMJHL. He will be accompanying Dillon Dube and Jakob Chychrun in captaining Team Cherry.

Jake Bean (Calgary Hitmen)

Jake has played 46 games and scored 17 goals and assisted on 26 more. According to Elite Prospect’s Curtis Joe, “He is not a one dimensional player. He displays natural talent in the offensive end, but also plays a complete defensive game in his own end.” Jake is the highest ranked WHL player in the NHL Central Scouting’s 2016 midterm rankings. Jake will be the assistant captain of Team Orr and is one of two WHL players who will be wearing a letter in Thursday’s game.

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