Jeff HubertMay 1, 2013, Toronto, ON (ISN) – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Western Hockey League and the Calgary Hitmen Hockey Club, today announced that the 2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will be hosted by the Hitmen on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
"The Canadian Hockey League is very excited to return to Calgary for the 2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game following successful events in 1999 and 2001," said CHL President David Branch. "The passionate hockey fans in Western Canada have contributed significantly to the growth of this prestigious event and we look forward to another showcase of the league's next wave of star NHL talent in Calgary next January."
The 2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will mark the 19th annual showcase of the CHL's top-40 NHL draft eligible players featuring talent from the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League competing before hundreds of NHL scouts in attendance.
Next season will mark the seventh time the game will be hosted by the WHL and third time the game will be played in Calgary (1999, 2001). Other past cities to host include Toronto (1996-98, 2000, 2011), Saskatoon (2002), Kitchener (2003), London (2004), Vancouver (2005), Ottawa (2006), Edmonton (2008), Oshawa (2009), Windsor (2010), Kelowna (2012), and Halifax (2013).
"The Calgary Hitmen organization is both pleased and honoured to host the best and brightest CHL stars and prospects at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game," commented Calgary Hitmen President and Governor Ken King. "On the heels of the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship that was a terrific success in Alberta, this provides another opportunity to showcase and grow major junior hockey in our great city and province."
The Hitmen have been represented in this event by a CHL-high 24 players since 1996 including goaltender Chris Driedger who competed in Kelowna before becoming a third round selection of the Ottawa Senators in the 2012 NHL Draft. Seven former Hitmen also competed in this event before becoming first round NHL picks including Pavel Brendl and Kris Beech in 1999, Brent Krahn (2000), Ryan Getzlaf (2003), Andrew Ladd and Jeff Shultz in 2004, Alex Plante (2007), and Karl Alzner (2007).
Since the event was first introduced in 1996 the game has featured 10 players that were selected with the first overall pick in the NHL Draft including Chris Phillips, Joe Thornton, Vincent Lecavalier, Rick Nash, Marc-Andre Fleury, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Taylor Hall, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
This season, NHL Central Scouting's top ranked skater Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks captained Team Orr to a 3-0 win over Team Cherry that featured Nathan MacKinnon and fellow Mooseheads' forward Jonathan Drouin who are ranked two and three respectively for the 2013 NHL Draft.
Associate sponsors for the event include Bank of Montreal, Subway, and Old Dutch. The game will be broadcast nationally by Sportsnet and TVA Sports.