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.
Seven different goal scorers got on the board at the 2014 Top Prospects Game.
Hosted from Calgary, where celebrity coaches included Flames alumni and CHL graduates like Mark Hunter, Tim Hunter, Jim Peplinski, Paul Reinhart, and Mike Vernon, the two sides dazzled the Alberta crowd to a 4-3 final with the winning tally coming courtesy of Soo Greyhounds centre Jared McCann with under four minutes to go in the third period.
For his efforts, McCann was presented with Player of the Game honours for Team Orr, while fellow forward Nikolay Goldobin of the Sarnia Sting picked up the same recognition for Team Cherry after wrapping up the night with a two-point performance. Between the pipes, Julio Billia of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens led all netminders with 17 saves, including a stopped penalty shot from Goldobin in the waning minutes of the final frame to push Team Orr to victory.
Of note, serving as captains for the 2014 Top Prospects Game were Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts with Team Orr as well as Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay ICE representing Team Cherry, both of whom finished the contest with a pair of points. Only months later, both Ekblad and Reinhart would hear their names called back to back atop the 2014 NHL Draft in being selected first and second overall by the Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres, respectively. The two were also among 37 participants from the 2014 Top Prospects Game to be selected in the 2014 NHL Draft, of which 17 players were chosen in the opening round including eight of the top-10 picks.
2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Picks:
1. Aaron Ekblad (Barrie Colts) – Florida Panthers*
2. Sam Reinhart (Kootenay Ice) – Buffalo Sabres*
3. Leon Draisaitl (Prince Albert Raiders) – Edmonton Oilers*
5. Michael Dal Colle (Oshawa Generals) – New York Islanders*
6. Jake Virtanen (Calgary Hitmen) – Vancouver Canucks*
7. Haydn Fleury (Red Deer Rebels) – Carolina Hurricanes*
9. Nikolaj Ehlers (Halifax Mooseheads) – Winnipeg Jets*
10. Nick Ritchie (Peterborough Petes) – Anaheim Ducks*
12. Brendan Perlini (Niagara IceDogs) – Arizona Coyotes*
14. Julius Honka (Swift Current Broncos) – Dallas Stars*
19. Anthony DeAngelo (Sarnia Sting) – Tampa Bay Lightning*
21. Robby Fabbri (Guelph Storm) – St. Louis Blues*
23. Conner Bleackley (Red Deer Rebels) – Colorado Avalanche
24. Jared McCann (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – Vancouver Canucks*
26. Nikita Scherbak (Saskatoon Blades) – Montreal Canadiens*
27. Nikolay Goldobin (Sarnia Sting) – San Jose Sharks*
28. Joshua Ho-Sang (Windsor Spitfires) – New York Islanders*
31. Brendan Lemieux (Barrie Colts) – Buffalo Sabres*
33. Ivan Barbashev (Moncton Wildcats) – St. Louis Blues*
34. Mason McDonald (Charlottetown Islanders) – Calgary Flames
37. Alex Nedeljkovic (Plymouth Whalers) – Carolina Hurricanes*
43. Ryan MacInnis (Kitchener Rangers) – Arizona Coyotes*
44. Eric Cornel (Peterborough Petes) – Buffalo Sabres
50. Roland McKeown (Kingston Frontenacs) – Los Angeles Kings*
74. Brycen Martin (Swift Current Broncos) – Buffalo Sabres
75. Alex Peters (Plymouth Whalers) – Dallas Stars
79. Brayden Point (Moose Jaw Warriors) – Tampa Bay Lightning*
99. Chase De Leo (Portland Winterhawks) – Winnipeg Jets*
102. Alexis Vanier (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) – San Jose Sharks
119. Ben Thomas (Calgary Hitmen) – Tampa Bay Lightning
127. Clark Bishop (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles) – Carolina Hurricanes*
147. Daniel Audette (Sherbrooke Phoenix) – Montreal Canadiens
154. Aaron Haydon (Niagara IceDogs) – Dallas Stars
162. Aaron Irving (Edmonton Oil Kings) – Nashville Predators
180. Matthew Mistele (Plymouth Whalers) – Los Angeles Kings
209. Spencer Watson (Kingston Frontenacs) – Los Angeles Kings
210. Jacob Middleton (Ottawa 67’s) – Los Angeles Kings*
Sam Bennett (Kingston Frontenacs) was the top ranked prospect in NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings but missed the game due to injury before being chosen fourth overall in the 2014 NHL Draft.