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.
Late heroics courtesy of Cape Breton Screaming Eagles forward Pierre-Luc Dubois pushed Team Orr into the win column at the 2016 Top Prospects Game in Vancouver.
Paired alongside Pascal Laberge of the Victoriaville Tigres, the QMJHL counterparts were an instant hit for Team Orr, with Laberge first picking up a pair of markers before setting up Dubois’ 3-2 game winner after the opposition evened the score at two only 11 seconds prior.
The quick chemistry undoubtedly came in part after Dubois and Laberge had previously gained familiarity after playing as linemates with Team Canada Black at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. The two reconnected in Vancouver but not before British Columbia product Ty Ronning of the hometown Vancouver Giants opened the scoring for the opposition less than four minutes into the first period.
Of note, Ronning wasn’t the only familiar face suiting up before the Vancouver crowd of more than 10,000 as the coaching staff for the 2016 Top Prospects Game also included former Canucks and CHL graduates in Glen Hanlon and Todd Warriner serving as assistants with Team Orr.
For Laberge, capping a three-point night later saw the future Philadelphia Flyers selection recognized as Player of the Game for the winning side, while Mississauga Steelheads centre Michael McLeod picked up the same honour for Team Cherry. Meanwhile, for Dubois, shining under the national spotlight helped the budding star climb the draft rankings as he later heard the Columbus Blue Jackets call his name third overall to become the first of 38 participants from the 2016 Top Prospects Game to be chosen in the 2016 NHL Draft.
2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Picks:
3. Pierre-Luc Dubois (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles) – Columbus Blue Jackets*
5. Olli Juolevi (London Knights) – Vancouver Canucks
6. Matthew Tkachuk (London Knights) – Calgary Flames*
8. Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads) – Buffalo Sabres*
9. Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor Spitfires) – Montreal Canadiens*
11. Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires) – Ottawa Senators*
12. Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads) – New Jersey Devils*
13. Jake Bean (Calgary Hitmen) – Carolina Hurricanes*
16. Jakob Chychrun (Sarnia Sting) – Arizona Coyotes*
18. Logan Stanley (Windsor Spitfires) – Winnipeg Jets
21. Julien Gauthier (Val-d’Or Foreurs) – Carolina Hurricanes*
24. Max Jones (London Knights) – Anaheim Ducks*
27. Brett Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors) – Tampa Bay Lightning*
28. Lucas Johansen (Kelowna Rockets) – Washington Capitals
30. Sam Steel (Regina Pats) – Anaheim Ducks*
35. Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting) – St. Louis Blues*
36. Pascal Laberge (Victoriaville Tigres) – Philadelphia Flyers
37. Libor Hajek (Saskatoon Blades) – Tampa Bay Lightning*
39. Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters) – Chicago Blackhawks*
41. Nathan Bastian (Mississauga Steelheads) – New Jersey Devils*
44. Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – Tampa Bay Lightning
47. Samuel Girard (Shawinigan Cataractes) – Nashville Predators*
48. Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips) – Philadelphia Flyers*
51. Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings) – Los Angeles Kings*
56. Dillon Dube (Kelowna Rockets) – Calgary Flames*
58. Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters) – Tampa Bay Lightning
59. Evan Fitzpatrick (Sherbrooke Phoenix) – St. Louis Blues
63. Markus Niemelainen (Saginaw Spirit) – Edmonton Oilers
65. Vitalii Abramov (Gatineau Olympiques) – Columbus Blue Jackets*
70. Will Bitten (Flint Firebirds) – Montreal Canadiens
79. Luke Green (Saint John Sea Dogs) – Winnipeg Jets
81. Sean Day (Mississauga Steelheads) – New York Rangers
93. Jack Kopacka (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – Anaheim Ducks
111. Noah Gregor (Moose Jaw Warriors) – San Jose Sharks*
123. Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes) – Edmonton Oilers
141. Tim Gettinger (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – New York Rangers*
201. Ty Ronning (Vancouver Giants) – New York Rangers
206. Otto Somppi (Halifax Mooseheads) – Tampa Bay Lightning