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CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game rosters announced

SAKATOON — Three members of Canada&rsqou;s silver medal winning team from the World Junior Hockey Championships are among the players who will take part in the 2002 CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game, January 31 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The celebrity coaches for this year&rsqou;s game, Hockey Night in Canada commentator and former WHL goaltending star Kelly Hrudey and former WHL star and Toronto Maple Leaf, Dave ãTigerä Williams, were in Saskatoon Monday to help announce the names of the 40 players who will participate in the events, which this year includes a Skills Competition. The Canadian Hockey League, along with the 2002 Home Hardware Top Prospects Organizing Committee, announced the rosters for the 2002 CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game, as selected by the National Hockey League&rsqou;s Central Scouting Department, at a media conference in Saskatoon.

The full rosters are listed below. This year&rsqou;s game takes place at Saskatchewan Place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Thursday, January 31 and features the top 40 CHL prospects for the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, as selected by the NHL&rsqou;s Central Scouting Department. The game will be broadcast live on Rogers Sportsnet.

Virtually every player to perform in the CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game has been selected in the NHL Entry Draft. Such current NHL stars as Joe Thornton, Vincent Lecavalier, Simon Gagne, David Legwand, Scott Gomez, Chris Phillips, Alex Tanguay and Eric Brewer have appeared in the Game.

Forty of the best young prospects in the CHL will appear in this year&rsqou;s game, including 16 players from the Ontario Hockey League, 14 players from the Western Hockey League and 10 players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Among the players participating this year include three members of Canada&rsqou;s silver medal winning team — forward Scottie Upshall of the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL, defenceman Jay Bouwmeester of the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL and forward Rick Nash of the London Knights of the OHL.

Bouwmeester is the number one ranked player from the WHL on the NHL&rsqou;s preliminary rankings while Upshall is number two. Nash is the number one ranked prospect from the OHL on the NHL&rsqou;s preliminary rankings. Ben Eager of the Oshawa Generals is the second ranked OHL player on that list and he will also be in the game.

The two top QMJHL prospects on the NHL Central Scouting Bureau list are defenceman Martin Vagner of the Hull Olympiques and defenceman Francois Caron of the Moncton Wildcats, who will lead the 10-player Quebec delegation into the game.

The Kamloops Blazers of the WHL have the most players in the game with three, while 11 other CHL teams have two players each participating in this year&rsqou;s game (Plymouth, Oshawa, Kitchener and Sault Ste. Marie from the OHL, Chicoutimi, Hull, Moncton and Shawinigan from the QMJHL and Brandon, Medicine Hat and Swift Current from the WHL).

The Saskatoon Blades of the WHL have teamed-up with Saskatoon Sports Tourism to host the 2002 CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Festivities at Saskatchewan Place. Saskatoon Sports Tourism is a non-profit, partnership organization formed to guide the attraction, retention and creation of sports tourism activities in the city of Saskatoon.

Hrudey and Williams will take over the coaching reigns for the CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game from hockey legend Bobby Orr and Hockey Night in Canada icon Don Cherry, who are both stepping aside after six years behind the bench at the event. In future years the game&rsqou;s celebrity coaches will have ties to the community where the game is being played in, hence this year&rsqou;s selection of Hrudey and Williams, both of whom are from Western Canada and played their junior hockey in the WHL.

New to the Top Prospects Game this year will be a Skills Competition which will be held the night before the game on Wednesday, January 30 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available for $20 for the two-day hockey event. For more information on the 2002 CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects festivities, call the Saskatoon Blades office at (306) 975-8844 or Select-A-Seat at 306-938-7800.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ROGER LAJOIE, Canadian Hockey League (416) 332-9711 DAVE LORD, Canadian Hockey League (416) 332-9711 MIKE JENKINS, 2002 Home Hardware Top Prospects (306) 975-8844 RON ROBISON, Western Hockey League (403) 693-3033 FRANK BONELLO, National Hockey League (416) 981-2777

CHL TOP PROSPECTS ROSTER

24 FORWARDS
Berzins, Armands
Shawinigan
Bouchard, Pierre-Marc
Chicoutimi
Brent, Tim
Toronto
Brown, Paul
Kamloops
Campbell, Gregory
Plymouth
Christensen, Erik
Kamloops
Cuddihy, Jimmy
Shawinigan
Eager, Ben
Oshawa
Gordon, Boyd
Red Deer
Henrich, Adam
Brampton
Jarrett, Pat
Owen Sound
Kanko, Petr
Kitchener
Klepis, Jakub
Portland
Konsorada, Tim
Brandon
Lambert, Michael
Montreal
Lupul, Joffrey
Medicine Hat
Mikhnov, Andrei
Sudbury
Monych, Lance
Brandon
Nash, Rick
London
Paille, Daniel
Guelph
Schell, Brad
Spokane
Taticek, Petr
Sault Ste. Marie
Thoresen, Patrick
Moncton
Upshall, Scott
Kamloops
12 DEFENSEMEN
Bouwmeester, Jay
Medicine Hat
Boychuk, John
Calgary
Caron, Francois
Moncton
Daley, Trevor
Sault Ste. Marie
Eminger, Steve
Kitchener
Lane, Jesse
Hull
Lee, Brian
Erie
Ranger, Paul
Oshawa
Rome, Aaron
Swift Current
Thompson, Andy
Kootenay
Vagner, Martin
Hull
Wisniewski, James
Plymouth

4 GOALTENDERS

Daigneault, Maxime
Val d&rsqou;Or
Deslauriers, Jeff
Chicoutimi
Ford, Todd
Swift Current
Kellerman, Tyson
North Bay

BANK OF MONTREAL MASTERCARD TOP 10 RANKINGS

The Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League continues to top the Bank of Montreal MasterCard CHL Top 10 rankings in Week 12.

The Titan continue to lead the Bank of Montreal MasterCard CHL Top 10 rankings, selected by a panel of NHL scouts, for the fifth consecutive week. Acadie-Bathurst has been in the rankings for nine of the 12 weeks the poll has been conducted this season.

Acadie-Bathurst continues to lead the overall QMJHL standings and have the most victories and best winning percentage of any CHL team. This week&rsqou;s list is the first Bank of Montreal MasterCard Top 10 rankings of 2002, with the last rankings released Dec. 17, 2001.

The Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League hang on to second place in the weekly rankings. The Whalers lead the OHL in winning percentage and points and have been in the rankings for all 12 weeks so far this season.

The Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey league are the team on the move, moving into third place in this week&rsqou;s Bank of Montreal MasterCard Top 10. The Broncos have won five consecutive games and return to the CHL Top 10 for the eighth time this season.

Shawinigan (QMJHL), Barrie (OHL), Kamloops (WHL) and Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) all hold on to their previous rankings. The Prince George Cougars of the WHL drop down to eighth spot this week, followed by the Halifax Mooseheads, down one spot from eighth. The Regina Pats of the WHL make their season debut in the Bank of Montreal MasterCard Top 10 this week, in 10th spot. Regina is 7-2-1 in its past 10 games.

The complete list from Week 12 of the Bank of Montreal MasterCard CHL Top 10 rankings follows. The rankings can also be found at www.chl.ca every week.

Rank
Team/League
W
L
T
OTL
Last Week
Weeks in Rankings
1
Acadie-Bathurst Titan/QMJHL
32
9
4
2
1
9
2
Plymouth Whalers/OHL
24
7
8
1
2
12
3
Swift Current Broncos/WHL
21
8
3
2
Not ranked
8
4
Shawinigan Cataractes/QMJHL
29
10
4
1
4
11
5
Barrie Colts/OHL
24
10
4
0
5
5
6
Kamloops Blazers/WHL
24
12
1
2
6
10
7
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds/OHL
24
12
6
0
7
3
8
Prince George Cougars/WHL
23
11
4
2
3
5
9
Halifax Mooseheads/QMJHL
25
13
6
1
8
3
10
Regina Pats/WHL
24
12
3
5
Not ranked
1

WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE

There are no games in the WHL on Monday night.

Heading into this week&rsqou;s action, Nathan Barrett of Lethbridge continues to lead the WHL scoring derby with 25 goals and 43 assists for 68 points, good for a nine-point bulge on Calgary&rsqou;s Tyler Beechey (25-34-59). Regina&rsqou;s Matt Hubbauer (32-25-57), Swift Current&rsqou;s Tim Smith (21-36-57), Portland&rsqou;s Josef Balej (32-24-56) and Kootenay&rsqou;s Tomas Plihal (23-33-56) round out the league top scorers.

The top WHL goalie is Kyle Stanton of Prince George, who leads the league in goals against average with a 2.02 mark and a save percentage of .934. Kelowna&rsqou;s Shane Bendera is second with a 2.10 GAA and a save percentage of .925. Rounding out the top five goalies are Red Deer&rsqou;s Cam Ward (2.13, .914), Regina&rsqou;s Josh Harding (2.17, .913) and Logan Koopmans of Lethbridge (2.36, .910).

The Swift Current Broncos are the hottest team in the WHL on a five-game winning streak and they have opened up a 10-point lead in the Central Division standings over the Red Deer Rebels. In the East Division, the Regina Pats are 7-2-1 in their past 10 games and have a five-point lead on the Brandon Wheat Kings.

In the Western Conference, the Prince George Cougars cling to a one-point lead on the Kamloops Blazers in the B.C. Division while in the U.S. Division, the Spokane Chiefs have a four point edge on the Portland Winter Hawks.

ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE

There are no games in the OHL on Monday night.

Nathan Robinson of the Belleville Bulls is still the OHL&rsqou;s scoring leader with 31 goals and 41 assists for 72 points, followed by Sarnia&rsqou;s Kris Newbury (29-40-69) and Belleville&rsqou;s Mike Renzi (25-44-69). Dusty Jamieson of Sarnia (28-38-66), Miguel Delisle of Ottawa (30-26-56) and Sarnia&rsqou;s Eric Himelfarb (25-31-56) round out the OHL scoring leaders.

Barrie goalie David Chant leads the goaltending stats with a 2.13 goals against average and a save percentage of .934. Toronto St. Michael&rsqou;s goalie Peter Budaj is second in both categories with a 2.37 GAA and save percentage of .922, followed by Plymouth&rsqou;s Jason Bacashihua (2.42, .917), Ottawa&rsqou;s J.F. Perras (2.54, .917) and Sault Ste. Marie&rsqou;s Ray Emery (2.59, .916).

The Ottawa 67&rsqou;s are on a roll, as the defending OHL champions are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games and now lead the East Division by five points over the Peterborough Petes. The Barrie Colts are the Central Division leaders with 52 points, six more than the Toronto St. Michael&rsqou;s Majors.

In the Western Conference, the Plymouth Whalers have an OHL best record of 24-7-8-1, but they are just three points ahead of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the West Division standings. In the tight Midwest Division, the Guelph Storm have 48 points, just two points up on both the Erie Otters and the Kitchener Rangers.

The 2002 MasterCard Memorial Cup will be played in either Barrie, Erie, Guelph or Ottawa, with the decision to be announced shortly after the OHL&rsqou;s Jan. 10 trading deadline.

QUEBEC MAJOR JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE

There are no games in the QMJHL Monday night.

Heading into this week&rsqou;s action, Pierre-Marc Bouchard of Chicoutimi is the new QMJHL scoring leader. Bouchard (31-58-89) has passed a pair of Baie-Comeau players, Charles Linglet (40-45-85) and Yanick Lehoux (39-46-85) to take over top spot. Shawinigan&rsqou;s Jason Pominville (42-42-84) and Jonathan Bellemare (20-61-81) round out the top five scorers.

Olivier Michaud of Shawinigan leads all goalies with a 2.17 goals against average. Halifax&rsqou;s Jonathan Boutin (2.59) and Dany Dallaire (2.62), are next, followed by Acadie-Bathurst&rsqou;s Adam Russo at 2.62 and Cape Breton&rsqou;s Marc-Andre Fleury at 2.91. Dallaire has the best save percentage at .919, followed by Fleury at .914 and Montreal&rsqou;s Jonathan Cayer at .905.

The Acadie-Bathurst Titan continue to lead the QMJHL overall standings with a record of 32-9-4-2 for 70 points, which also gives the Titan a 13-point lead over Halifax in the Dilio Conference&rsqou;s Maritimes Division standings. The East Division leaders are Baie-Comeau, which leads Chicoutimi by just one point.

In the Lebel Conference, Shawinigan leads the Centre Division by 11 points over Victoriaville while Val-d&rsqou;Or has a two-point lead on Montreal in the West Division standings.

For complete QMJHL statistics and standings, visit the official QMJHL site.

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