FRISCO, TEXAS - The North American Hockey League announced today the 20-man rosters for its second annual Top Prospects Tournament, which will be held January 18-20, 2009 at the Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The event will feature all-star teams from the NAHL's Central, North, South and West Divisions competing in a three-game, round-robin tournament. The U.S. National Team Development Program's Under-17 and Under-18 Teams will also play two games each over the three days.
"I give a lot of credit to our Top Prospects Tournament Selection Committee for their efforts in evaluating and selecting the best our league has to offer to compete in this prestigious event," said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. "A number of student-athletes who competed in last year's tournament were awarded college opportunities, and we expect this year to be no different."
In the two, five-team divisions - the Central and North (excluding the NTDP) - six players were selected from the first-place teams as of December 22 (Bismarck Bobcats/Mahoning Valley Phantoms); five from the second-place teams (Traverse City North Stars/North Iowa Outlaws); three from the third- and fourth-place teams (Alexandria Blizzard/Alpena IceDiggers/Marquette Rangers/Owatonna Express); and two from the fifth-place teams (Albert Lea Thunder/Motor City Machine). One wildcard player was also selected from each of the two divisions (Alexandria/Marquette).
In the two, four-team divisions - the South and West - six players were chosen from the first-place teams as of December 22 (Fairbanks Ice Dogs/Topeka RoadRunners); five from the second-place teams (St. Louis Bandits/Wenatchee Wild); and four from the third- and fourth-place teams (Alaska Avalanche/Kenai River Brown Bears/Springfield Jr. Blues/Wichita Falls Wildcats). Two wildcard players were also selected from the division (Fairbanks/St. Louis).
The NTDP team will be comprised of players from both the Under-17 and Under-18 Teams.
Over 20 players who participated in last year's Top Prospects Tournament earned scholarships to Division I schools.
The Holiday Inn-Ann Arbor is the Official Hotel of the Top Prospects Tournament. Avis is the Official Rental Car Company of the event.
or more information on the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, visit NAHLTopProspects.com.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)