In partnership with Kubota Canada, the Canadian Hockey League is unveiling an 11-part series recounting past CHL/NHL Top Prospects Games, reminiscing about the most memorable moments and highlighting those players who went on to successful NHL careers. The Top Prospects Memories series also features the rebroadcast of showcase games from 2010-20 streaming here between September 10 and October 5.
There was no shortage of offence at the 2011 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
Headlined by Ryan-Nugent Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels, the gifted centre was selected to captain Team Orr and ultimately played a key role in his team prevailing with an eventual 7-1 victory in Toronto where local legends Wendel Clark and Doug Gilmour were behind the bench for the winning side.
With Team Orr carrying a three-goal lead at the midway mark of the second period, the opposition then got on the board courtesy of Ottawa 67’s forward Shane Prince before Team Orr once again rallied, this time for four unanswered goals in the final frame to come away with the big win.
In all, Team Orr saw its offense come from seven different goal scorers, while three players finished with multi-point efforts including Nugent-Hopkins and Boone Jenner (Oshawa Generals), both with two assists, while Saint John Sea Dogs forward Zack Phillips also picked up a pair of helpers to go with his third-period marker.
For Nugent-Hopkins – who was named Player of the Game for Tear Orr, while Kitchener Rangers blue-liner Ryan Murphy earned the same honour for the opposition – impressing on the big stage before eager talent evaluators undoubtedly helped the budding up-and-comer to be selected first overall in the coming NHL Draft, marking the second consecutive top selection by the Edmonton Oilers following Taylor Hall the previous June.
Nugent-Hopkins also became the first member of the Rebels to be chosen in the opening round since Brandon Sutter (Carolina Hurricanes) four years prior as well as the first WHL talent to be taken with the top selection since the Ottawa Senators called Prince Albert Raiders defenceman Chris Phillips first overall in 1996 which coincides with the introduction of the CHL’s annual NHL Draft showcase.
Additionally, Nugent-Hopkins was one of 19 participants from the 2011 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game to be selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
2011 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Picks:
1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer Rebels) – Edmonton Oilers*
3. Jonathan Huberdeau (Saint John Sea Dogs) – Florida Panthers*
5. Ryan Strome (Niagara IceDogs) – New York Islanders*
7. Mark Scheifele (Barrie Colts) – Winnipeg Jets*
8. Sean Couturier (Drummondville Voltigeurs) – Philadelphia Flyers*
9. Dougie Hamilton (Niagara IceDogs) – Boston Bruins*
11. Duncan Siemens (Saskatoon Blades) – Colorado Avalanche*
12. Ryan Murphy (Kitchener Rangers) – Carolina Hurricanes*
13. Sven Baertschi (Portland Winterhawks) – Calgary Flames*
17. Nathan Beaulieu (Saint John Sea Dogs) – Montreal Canadiens*
18. Mark McNeill (Prince Albert Raiders) – Chicago Blackhawks*
23. Joe Morrow (Portland Winterhawks) – Pittsburgh Penguins*
24. Matthew Puempel (Peterborough Petes) – Ottawa Senators*
25. Stuart Percy (Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors) – Toronto Maple Leafs*
26. Phillip Danault (Victoriaville Tigres) – Chicago Blackhawks*
27. Vladislav Namestnikov (London Knights) – Tampa Bay Lightning*
28. Zack Phillips (Saint John Sea Dogs) – Minnesota Wild
29. Nicklas Jensen (Oshawa Generals) – Vancouver Canucks*
30. Rickard Rakell (Plymouth Whalers) – Anaheim Ducks*
31. David Musil (Vancouver Giants) – Edmonton Oilers*
32. Ty Rattie (Portland Winterhawks) – St. Louis Blues*
35. Tomas Jurco (Saint John Sea Dogs) – Detroit Red Wings*
37. Boone Jenner (Oshawa Generals) – Columbus Blue Jackets*
43. Brandon Saad (Saginaw Spirit) – Chicago Blackhawks*
48. Xavier Ouellet (Montreal Juniors) – Detroit Red Wings*
49. Christopher Gibson (Chicoutimi Sagueneens) – Los Angeles Kings*
54. Scott Harrington (London Knights) – Pittsburgh Penguins*
56. Lucas Lessio (Oshawa Generals) – Phoenix Coyotes*
57. Tyler Wotherspoon (Portland Winterhawks) – Calgary Flames*
61. Shane Prince (Ottawa 67’s) – Ottawa Senators*
64. Vincent Trocheck (Saginaw Spirit) – Florida Panthers*
71. David Honzik (Victoriaville Tigres) – Vancouver Canucks
77. Daniel Catenacci (Soo Greyhounds) – Buffalo Sabres*
88. Jordan Binnington (Owen Sound Attack) – St. Louis Blues*
107. Colin Jacobs (Seattle Thunderbirds) – Buffalo Sabres
114. Tobias Rieder (Kitchener Rangers) – Edmonton Oilers*
134. Shane McColgan (Kelowna Rockets) – New York Rangers
159. Reece Scarlett (Swift Current Broncos) – New Jersey Devils
Second overall pick Gabriel Landeskog (Kitchener Rangers) missed the game due to injury.