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Top Prospects arrive in Windsor

By Aaron Bell

Brandon Gormley is anxious to prove himself against his peers.

The Moncton Wildcats’ defenceman was the top rated player from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the NHL’s mid-term rankings for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and is one of 40 Canadian Hockey League that arrived in Windsor on Monday to take part in the Home Hardware CHL Top Prospects Game.

“It’s an honour to be here and it’s a real exciting opportunity for all the players to be here,” said Gormley, a 17-year-old from Murray River, PEI. “You grow up watching this game and seeing all the players that (played in the game before) – it’s a real honour to be here.”

The players had their first practices as teams today and are back on the ice Tuesday morning for Next Testing skills testing. They return to the WFCU Centre for the Home Hardware Skills Competition Tuesday evening (7:00 p.m. on TV Cogeco in Windsor) and the 2010 Home Hardware CHL Top Prospects Game is on Wednesday (7:00 p.m. Eastern on Rogers Sportsnet).

The event gives players an opportunity to face off against all of the other top prospects for the draft in June.

“You see the rankings all year and think maybe I should be ahead of that guy,” Gormley said. “You’ve got a chance to go out and prove yourself and why you should be ahead of him. Everyone is on the same playing field here.”

Gormley is one of six defencemen that was named to Team Orr and he said that he is looking forward to meeting the Hall of Fame defenceman.

“I was pretty excited to get named to his team” said Gormley, who has six goals and 29 points in 40 games with the Wildcats this season. “Either coach would be a dream come true to meet them but especially Bobby Orr with me being a defenceman – it’s great to be here and it’s great to have him as a coach.”

Taylor Hall and Cam Fowler of the Windsor Spitfires and Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers – the top three rated players in the NHL Central Scouting mid-term rankings – all returned to Windsor this afternoon after a special Martin Luther King Day matinee in Plymouth, MI.

Hall and Fowler will play in the event on home ice and are looking forward to the experience.

“It’s an exciting time,” said Hall, who is second among OHL scorers with 70 points in 40 games this season. “Any time you get to play in front of family and friends it seems to bring the best out of me. Hopefully I’ll have a good time.”

The Top Prospects Game annually draws dozens of NHL scouts and general managers anxious to see the top of the upcoming draft class compete against each other. Gormley said that makes for an exciting few days.

“I don’t think it’s really nerves – I think it’s more excitement,” Gormley said. “You’re ready to go. It’s a good chance for everyone to go out and prove themselves. Every team in the (NHL) is going to have some scouts here so it’s a great chance to go out and prove yourself. You just have to go and have fun with it.”

Tickets for the Home Hardware Skills Competition and Top Prospects Game are still available by calling 519-254-5000 or online at www.windsorspitfires.com.

Photo: Aaron Bell/CHL

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