Three Winterhawks Tapped for CHL Top Prospects Game

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Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with Home Hardware Stores Limited today announced the rosters for the 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. The game will take place at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, ON, beginning with a skills competition on Tuesday January 19 followed by the game on Wednesday January 20, 2010.

“On behalf of the Canadian Hockey League I am pleased to announce the rosters for the 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game which includes 40 of the top prospects eligible for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft from across the CHL” said CHL President David Branch. “CHL fans in attendance and watching live across the country on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS have the opportunity to preview the next wave of NHL stars as they compete in front of a record number of NHL management and scouts in what will surely be an intense competition.”

The rosters were selected by the 30 NHL General Managers with NHL Central Scouting and include 18 players from the Ontario Hockey League, 13 players from the Western Hockey League, and nine players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. 18 players competed at the 2009 SUBWAY Super Series including 12 players on Team Orr and six players on Team Cherry.

“On behalf of NHL Central Scouting we are very excited to visit Windsor and watch 40 of the CHL’s top prospects compete at the 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game said E.J McGuire, Director of NHL Central Scouting. “The players named to the rosters should be proud of their accomplishments so far this season but should take advantage of all opportunities at this event to elevate their play and prove that they are ready for the next level.”

Three members of the host Windsor Spitfires including 2010 World Junior Team Canada forward Taylor Hall, along with Cam Fowler, and Austin Watson will compete with Team Cherry. Also competing from the OHL are two players that attended Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp including John McFarland of the Sudbury Wolves and Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers who was listed first in the OHL by NHL Central Scouting in their November preliminary rankings.

"I’m excited about playing in the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game” said Seguin. “It’s an opportunity to play among the best players in the CHL. The game is something we all dream about when we’re growing up, so we’re all looking forward to play. It should be a lot of fun."

Click here to download a short interview with Taylor Hall courtesy of AM 800 in Windsor as he discusses what it feels like to be named to the roster, what it means to play in front of the Windsor crowd, playing for Don Cherry, and what the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game means for his development leading up to the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Brett Connolly of the Prince George Cougars headlines the list of WHL players competing in the game after being ranked first amongst WHL skaters in November by NHL Central Scouting. He is joined by three members of the Portland Winterhawks including forwards Ryan Johansen, Nino Niederreiter, and defenceman Troy Rutkowski.

“It’s a great honour that they consider me one of the top prospects” said Connolly. “I’d like to be able to show people where I’m at with the best draft eligible players in the country. It’ll be stiff competition, for sure. I’ve had a chance to play with a couple of guys from Ontario and there are great players in Quebec and of course in our league as well. It’s a great measuring stick for me and I’m looking forward to the chance to play in the game.”

The Moncton Wildcats lead the QMJHL with three players competing in the game including defenceman Brandon Gormley who was the league’s top ranked skater as determined by NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary rankings. He is joined by teammates Kirill Kabanov and goaltender Louis Domingue. The QMJHL’s top team the Saint John Sea Dogs are represented by forward Stanislav Galiev who was selected first overall in the 2009 CHL Import Draft.

“It’s a great honour to be selected and a great opportunity to be play in the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects game” said Gormley, who was also invited to Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp. “I have been watching the game on TV for a number of years now and I’m sure it will be a fantastic experience. I look forward to it.”

The 2009 event was held in Oshawa, ON, and featured all 16 CHL players that were selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft including the New York Islanders’ first overall pick John Tavares. In addition to Tavares, seven other NHL stars have participated in the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game before being selected first overall including Chris Phillips, Joe Thornton, Vincent Lecavalier, Rick Nash, Marc-Andre Fleury, Patrick Kane, and Steven Stamkos. A total of 11 Windsor Spitfires have played in this game including Ryan Ellis who competed at the 2009 event before being selected 11th overall by the Nashville Predators.

“Home Hardware proudly congratulates the 40 players that have been selected to compete in the 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game,” says Rob Wallace, Public Relations & Promotional Events Manager for Home Hardware Stores Limited. “On behalf of more than 1,000 Canadian Home Hardware Dealers, I would like to wish all of these top prospects the best of luck and look forward to seeing them compete in Windsor.”

Home Hardware continues as the title sponsor of the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game for the eleventh straight year. Associate sponsors include Bank of Montreal, Subway, and NeilMed. The game will be broadcast nationally live on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS.

More information can be found at the official event website:

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