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.
The 2017 Top Prospects Game was a record-tying, goal-filled affair.
Culminating in a 7-5 Team Cherry victory that evened an event-high for total goals set three times previously and most recently in 2008, the annual prospects showcase was headlined by offensive firepower including projected top-two selections in Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads and Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings who captained the event’s two iconic teams.
Naturally, both talents decorated the scoresheet, with Patrick picking up a pair of assists – including the primary helper on the eventual game-winning goal scored by Mississauga Steelheads winger Owen Tippett – while Hischier wrapped up the contest with a three-point night to earn Player of the Game honours for Team Orr.
Despite the standout performance from the Swiss centre, however, Team Cherry prevailed as five different players came up with multi-point performances including Portland Winterhawks blue-liner Henri Jokiharju who pushed the pace with a rearguard record three assists to claim Player of the Game recognition.
In all, it was a balanced scoring attack that ultimately led Team Cherry to victory as 14 players found the scoresheet while between the pipes Lethbridge Hurricanes netminder Stuart Skinner stood tall in the game’s second half turning aside 17 of 18 shots to preserve the win.
Played before a Quebec City crowd, the 2017 Top Prospects Game was also highlighted by four former Remparts serving as celebrity coaches including Simon Gagne and Pierre Lacroix with Team Cherry while Guy Chouinard and Dave Pichette were behind Team Orr’s bench.
For Hischier and Patrick, the budding stars continued to draw comparisons leading up to the 2017 NHL Draft when they were selected first and second overall by the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers, respectively. The two were among 37 participants from the 2017 Top Prospects Game to be chosen in the 2017 NHL Draft, of which 14 players heard their names called in the opening round.
2017 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Picks:
1. Nico Hischier (Halifax Mooseheads) – New Jersey Devils*
2. Nolan Patrick (Brandon Wheat Kings) – Philadelphia Flyers*
6. Cody Glass (Portland Winterhawks) – Vegas Golden Knights*
9. Michael Rasmussen (Tri-City Americans) – Detroit Red Wings*
10. Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads) – Florida Panthers*
11. Gabriel Vilardi (Windsor Spitfires) – Los Angeles Kings*
13. Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack) – Vegas Golden Knights*
14. Cal Foote (Kelowna Rockets) – Tampa Bay Lightning
16. Juuso Valimaki (Tri-City Americans) – Calgary Flames*
20. Robert Thomas (London Knights) – St. Louis Blues*
22. Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs) – Edmonton Oilers*
23. Pierre-Olivier Joseph (Charlottetown Islanders) – Arizona Coyotes
27. Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – Philadelphia Flyers*
29. Henri Jokiharju (Portland Winterhawks) – Chicago Blackhawks*
32. Conor Timmins (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – Colorado Avalanche*
33. Kole Lind (Kelowna Rockets) – Vancouver Canucks
34. Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads) – Vegas Golden Knights*
35. Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph Storm) – Philadelphia Flyers
47. Alex Formenton (London Knights) – Ottawa Senators*
50. Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres) – Anaheim Ducks*
59. Eemeli Rasanen (Kingston Frontenacs) – Toronto Maple Leafs
60. Antoine Morand (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) – Anaheim Ducks
62. Jake Leschyshyn (Regina Pats) – Vegas Golden Knights
64. Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires) – Vancouver Canucks*
69. MacKenzie Entwistle (Hamilton Bulldogs) – Arizona Coyotes
73. Stelio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings) – Carolina Hurricanes
75. Nate Schnarr (Guelph Storm) – Arizona Coyotes
78. Stuart Skinner (Lethbridge Hurricanes) – Edmonton Oilers
85. Ivan Lodnia (Erie Otters) – Minnesota Wild
87. Cale Fleury (Kootenay ICE) – Montreal Canadiens*
98. Nikita Popugaev (Prince George Cougars) – New Jersey Devils
106. Matthew Strome (Hamilton Bulldogs) – Philadelphia Flyers
109. Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting) – Calgary Flames
110. Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders) – Toronto Maple Leafs
118. Markus Phillips (Owen Sound Attack) – Los Angeles Kings
185. Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 67’s) – San Jose Sharks
216. Jacob Paquette (Kingston Frontenacs) – Nashville Predators