by Jeff Hubert
December 13, 2013, Toronto, ON (ISN) – Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the three regional leagues, the host Calgary Hitmen of the WHL, and BMO Financial Group, today announced the 40 CHL players that will compete in the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Calgary, AB, on January 15, 2014.
The 40 CHL players competing in the game were chosen by the 30 NHL clubs and divided into teams by NHL Central Scouting and include 20 players from the Ontario Hockey League, 13 players from the Western Hockey League, and seven players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“The BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is one of the highlights of the hockey calendar and we are excited to showcase 40 of the league’s top prospects eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft to the passionate hockey fans in Calgary and to CHL fans across Canada watching live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports,” said CHL President David Branch. “Since 1996 the CHL’s top prospects have had the opportunity to showcase their skills in this event before hundreds of NHL scouts and General Managers in attendance. Congratulations to all 40 players selected this season representing the next wave of talent to the NHL.”
Canadian National Junior Team Selection Camp members Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice and Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts are among 23 players on the roster recently given ‘A’ level ratings by NHL Central Scouting in their November ‘Players to Watch’ list. Reinhart is a member of Team Cherry to be coached by Jim Peplinski, along with assistant coaches Paul Reinhart and fellow Flames great Tim Hunter, a Calgary native and member of the 1989 Stanley Cup Champions and 14-year NHL assistant, the newest addition behind the bench. Ekblad will suit up for Team Orr coached by Flames legend Lanny McDonald along with assistant coaches Mike Vernon and Joel Otto.
“As the Official bank of the Canadian Hockey League and title sponsor of the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, BMO Financial Group congratulates the roster of top players that have been chosen for this exciting game,” said Justine Fedak, Senior Vice President, Brand Advertising, Sponsorships & Merchandising, BMO Financial Group. “The CHL/NHL Top Prospects game has captivated Canadians for more than a decade as a preview of our future NHL stars. We look forward to watching these young athletes display their skills in Calgary and wish them much success as they embark upon the next stage of their hockey careers.”
28 of the CHL’s 60 member clubs are represented in this game featuring two players on the host Calgary Hitmen including forward Jake Virtanen and defenceman Ben Thomas both on Team Orr. The Kingston Frontenacs are one of two teams represented by three players including forwards Sam Bennett and Spencer Watson along with defenceman Roland McKeown, while the Plymouth Whalers also have three players including goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, defenceman Alex Peters, and forward Matt Mistele.
“The BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is an event that all NHL scouts and General Managers look forward to attending,” said NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr. “The players competing in this game were chosen by the 30 NHL clubs with the game being a unique opportunity for management to evaluate 40 of the top draft eligible prospects in a single game, and for the players to take advantage of the spotlight and elevate their play in what has annually become an intense and exciting competition.”
Last season’s game in Halifax, NS, featured 19 players that were selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft including Nathan MacKinnon of the host Mooseheads who became the 11th player since 1996 to be selected first overall after competing in this game. In the past 18 years a total of 248 players from this event have been selected in the first round of the NHL Draft representing 47% of all players selected by NHL clubs in the first round.
The BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is proudly supported by new title partner BMO, along with associate sponsors SUBWAY and Old Dutch. The game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports beginning at 7:00 pm Mountain time, and is also available on the NHL Network in the United States and on Sportsnet 960 The FAN.
Tickets are still available and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or by calling 1-855-985-5000, or for Group Reservations please call 1-403-777-4646.
For more information about the event please visit www.bmotopprospects.ca.
2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Rosters:
Ty Edmonds (Prince George Cougars)
Alex Nedeljkovic (Plymouth Whalers)
Anthony DeAngelo (Sarnia Sting)
Haydn Fleury (Red Deer Rebels)
Aaron Irving (Edmonton Oil Kings)
Roland McKeown (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nelson Nogier (Saskatoon Blades)
Alexis Vanier (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)
Daniel Audette (Sherbrooke Phoenix)
Ivan Barbashev (Moncton Wildcats)
Conner Bleackley (Red Deer Rebels)
Michael Dal Colle (Oshawa Generals)
Chase De Leo (Portland Winterhawks)
Robby Fabbri (Guelph Storm)
Nikolay Goldobin (Sarnia Sting)
Ryan MacInnis (Kitchener Rangers)
Matt Mistele (Plymouth Whalers)
Sam Reinhart (Kootenay Ice)
Nick Ritchie (Peterborough Petes)
Nikita Scherbak (Saskatoon Blades)
Jim Peplinski – Head Coach
Paul Reinhart – Assistant Coach
Tim Hunter – Assistant Coach
Brian Cheeseman – Athletic Therapist
Rogan Dean – Equipment Manager
Julio Billia (Chicoutimi Sagueneens)
Mason McDonald (Acadie-Bathurst Titan)
Aaron Ekblad (Barrie Colts)
Aaron Haydon (Niagara IceDogs)
Julius Honka (Swift Current Broncos)
Brycen Martin (Swift Current Broncos)
Alex Peters (Plymouth Whalers)
Ben Thomas (Calgary Hitmen)
Sam Bennett (Kingston Frontenacs)
Clark Bishop (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)
Blake Clarke (North Bay Battalion)
Eric Cornel (Peterborough Petes)
Leon Draisaitl (Prince Albert Raiders)
Nikolaj Ehlers (Halifax Mooseheads)
Josh Ho-Sang (Windsor Spitfires)
Brendan Lemieux (Barrie Colts)
Jared McCann (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Brendan Perlini (Niagara IceDogs)
Jake Virtanen (Calgary Hitmen)
Spencer Watson (Kingston Frontenacs)
Lanny McDonald – Head Coach
Mike Vernon – Assistant Coach
Joel Otto – Assistant Coach
Will McMillan – Athletic Therapist
Jason Monnery – Equipment Manager
BMO and the Canadian Hockey League
BMO Financial Group and the Canadian Hockey League announced BMO as the Official Bank of the Canadian Hockey League in 2011. The four-year agreement also designates BMO as the Official Bank of each of the CHL’s member hockey leagues: the Ontario Hockey League, the Western Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The sponsorship builds on BMO’s partnership with the CHL of more than 10 years and affirms BMO’s exclusivity as a financial services sponsor of the league in the retail banking category. It also engrains a presence with the 48 teams who currently participate in the BMO CHL Affinity MasterCard program, which enables CHL fans to support their favourite teams through a co-branded BMO/CHL credit card.
About BMO Financial Group
For more than 195 years, BMO Financial Group has believed in community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility in the communities it serves. In 2012, BMO contributed more than $87.6 million in donations, sponsorships and events in Canada and the United States to groups, organizations and programs that help build and sustain resilient, vital and healthy communities.