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.
Blink and you’ll miss it. In a span of 2 minutes and 32 seconds, Team Cherry opened the floodgates early at the 2018 Top Prospects Game in Guelph en route to an eventual 7-4 victory.
Seeing a trio of two-goal efforts – courtesy of Aidan Dudas of the Owen Sound Attack, Ty Dellandrea of the Flint Firebirds, and Filip Zadina of the Halifax Mooseheads – there was no shortage of scoring from Team Cherry in a night that saw offensive outbursts rewrite the event record book.
Beginning with Dellandrea, a quick scoring succession of two tallies in 20 seconds marked the fastest pair of goals by one player in showcase history, shattering the previous mark of 3:22 set by J.P. Dumont of the Val-d’Or Foreurs 22 years earlier. Adding to the effort, Dellandrea’s scoring binge followed Dudas’ first goal of the game to mark the fastest three goals by one team in history as Team Cherry lit the lamp three times in just 67 seconds, besting the previous record of 2:12 set seven years prior.
En route to victory, Team Cherry received strong scoring support throughout its lineup, particularly on the back end where London Knights rearguard and Player of the Game Evan Bouchard also impressed in wrapping up the night with four helpers to etch his name in the event record book in tying for the most assists and most points by a single player. With the achievement, Bouchard became just the second player to do so following Daniel Briere of the Drummondville Voltigeurs in 1996.
For Team Orr, who were led by former NHL superstar and OHL graduate Eric Lindros, the squad saw its offense come from four different skaters including blue-liner Kevin Bahl of the Ottawa 67’s who also added an assist to earn Player of the Game recognition for his side.
In all, the offensive acumen displayed at the 2018 Top Prospects Game brought to the national stage the next wave of budding talents to hit the pro ranks with 35 event participants later chosen in the 2018 NHL Draft including 11 first rounders like Zadina (6th overall), Bouchard (10th overall) and Dellandrea (13th overall) but headlined by Andrei Svechnikov (2nd overall) of the Barrie Colts who is already turning into one of the NHL’s young rising stars.
2018 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Picks:
2. Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts) – Carolina Hurricanes*
5. Barrett Hayton (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – Arizona Coyotes*
6. Filip Zadina (Halifax Mooseheads) – Detroit Red Wings*
10. Evan Bouchard (London Knights) – Edmonton Oilers*
12. Noah Dobson (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) – New York Islanders*
13. Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds) – Dallas Stars
17. Ty Smith (Spokane Chiefs) – New Jersey Devils
18. Liam Foudy (London Knights) – Columbus Blue Jackets*
21. Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm) – San Jose Sharks
29. Rasmus Sandin (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – Toronto Maple Leafs*
30. Joe Veleno (Drummondville Voltigeurs) – Detroit Red Wings
34. Serron Noel (Oshawa Generals) – Florida Panthers
36. Jared McIsaac (Halifax Mooseheads) – Detroit Red Wings
40. Ryan McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads) – Edmonton Oilers
51. Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs) – Los Angeles Kings
53. Calen Addison (Lethbridge Hurricanes) – Pittsburgh Penguins
54. Benoit-Olivier Groulx (Halifax Mooseheads) – Anaheim Ducks
55. Kevin Bahl (Ottawa 67’s) – Arizona Coyotes
59. Gabriel Fortier (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) – Tampa Bay Lightning
62. Olivier Rodrigue (Drummondville Voltigeurs) – Edmonton Oilers
66. Cam Hillis (Guelph Storm) – Montreal Canadiens
93. Riley Sutter (Everett Silvertips) – Washington Capitals
97. Allan McShane (Oshawa Generals) – Montreal Canadiens
101. Nico Gross (Oshawa Generals) – New York Rangers
110. Xavier Bernard (Drummondville Voltigeurs) – New Jersey Devils
113. Aidan Dudas (Owen Sound Attack) – Los Angeles Kings
120. Philipp Kurashev (Quebec Remparts) – Chicago Blackhawks
128. Cole Fonstad (Prince Albert Raiders) – Montreal Canadiens
153. Giovanni Vallati (Kitchener Rangers) – Winnipeg Jets
157. Kevin Mandolese (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles) – Ottawa Senators
162. Alexis Gravel (Halifax Mooseheads) – Chicago Blackhawks
175. Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads) – Los Angeles Kings
185. Xavier Bouchard (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) – Vegas Golden Knights
198. Dmitry Zavgorodniy (Rimouski Oceanic) – Calgary Flames
217. Eric Florchuk (Saskatoon Blades) – Washington Capitals
Of note, Alexander Alexeyev (Red Deer Rebels) was originally invited to compete in the event but was unable to participate and would be selected 31st overall by the Washington Capitals.