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.
Call them the comeback kids.
Trailing by a trio of goals early in the final frame, Team Orr rallied for four unanswered markers at the 2019 Top Prospects Game to come away with a 5-4 victory.
Despite a record-setting start for Team Cherry that saw Hamilton Bulldogs winger Arthur Kaliyev capitalize just 56 seconds into the first period, the side’s 4-1 lead later in the game was not enough to hold off the biggest comeback in event history as Team Orr turned the tables with three goals in a span of 72 seconds to come just five seconds short of the all-time record for the fastest trio of tallies in event history set one year earlier.
Pushing the pace offensively for Team Orr included five different goal scorers counting London Knights forward Connor McMichael with the game winner in addition to Jakob Pelletier (Moncton Wildcats), Nikita Okhotyuk (Ottawa 67’s), Brett Leason (Prince Albert Raiders), and Player of the Game Graeme Clarke (Ottawa 67’s), with the latter two each finishing with multi-point showings.
Meanwhile, despite ending the night on the wrong side of the scoreboard, Team Cherry saw impressive scoring support that counted a two-goal, one-assist effort from Kaliyev, a pair of points from Player of the Game Peyton Krebs of the Kootenay ICE, three helpers from Peterborough Petes forward Nick Robertson, in addition to a lone marker from Samuel Poulin of the Sherbrooke Phoenix.
Hosted in Red Deer, Alta., the 2019 Top Prospects Game also featured several notable celebrity coaches including local native Ron MacLean of Hockey Night in Canada fame behind the bench with Team Cherry while his broadcasting counterpart and WHL alumnus Kelly Hrudey manned the bench for Team Orr.
In all, 34 participants from the 2019 Top Prospects Game were later chosen in the 2019 NHL Draft, headlined by the Chicago Blackhawks’ third-overall selection of Kirby Dach of the Saskatoon Blades who was one of 12 talents called in the opening round.
2019 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Picks:
3. Kirby Dach (Saskatoon Blades) – Chicago Blackhawks*
4. Bowen Byram (Vancouver Giants) – Colorado Avalanche
7. Dylan Cozens (Lethbridge Hurricanes) – Buffalo Sabres
17. Peyton Krebs (Winnipeg ICE) – Vegas Golden Knights
18. Thomas Harley (Mississauga Steelheads) – Dallas Stars
19. Lassi Thomson (Kelowna Rockets) – Ottawa Senators
21. Samuel Poulin (Sherbrooke Phoenix) – Pittsburgh Penguins
24. Philip Tomasino (Niagara IceDogs) – Nashville Predators
25. Connor McMichael (London Knights) – Washington Capitals
26. Jakob Pelletier (Moncton Wildcats) – Calgary Flames
27. Nolan Foote (Kelowna Rockets) – Tampa Bay Lightning
28. Ryan Suzuki (Barrie Colts) – Carolina Hurricanes
33. Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs) – Los Angeles Kings
37. Mads Sogaard (Medicine Hat Tigers) – Ottawa Senators
38. Raphael Lavoie (Halifax Mooseheads) – Edmonton Oil Kings
41. Kaedan Korczak (Kelowna Rockets) – Vegas Golden Knights
44. Jamieson Rees (Sarnia Sting) – Carolina Hurricanes
48. Artemi Kniazev (Chicoutimi Sagueneens) – San Jose Sharks
49. Matthew Robertson (Edmonton Oil Kings) – New York Rangers
52. Vladislav Kolyachonok (Flint Firebirds) – Florida Panthers
53. Nicholas Robertson (Peterborough Petes) – Toronto Maple Leafs
56. Brett Leason (Prince Albert Raiders) – Washington Capitals
57. Samuel Bolduc (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada) – New York Islanders
59. Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes) – Minnesota Wild
61. Nikita Okhotyuk (Ottawa 67’s) – New Jersey Devils
62. Nikita Alexandrov (Charlottetown Islanders) – St. Louis Blues
74. Nathan Legare (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) – Pittsburgh Penguins
80. Graeme Clarke (Ottawa 67’s) – New Jersey Devils
82. Michael Vukojevic (Kitchener Rangers) – New Jersey Devils
89. Max Cajkovic (Saint John Sea Dogs) – Tampa Bay Lightning
93. Colten Ellis (Rimouski Oceanic) – St. Louis Blues
140. Sasha Mutala (Tri-City Americans) – Colorado Avalanche
149. Matvey Guskov (London Knights) – Minnesota Wild
207. Valentin Nussbaumer (Shawinigan Cataractes) – Arizona Coyotes