The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that the 2012 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, presented by Combat Hockey, will be held from February 20-22, 2012 at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan. 120 total players from the NAHL will be spread among six teams, who will play in three games each during the event. The event will feature teams from the Central, Midwest, North, South and West Divisions of the NAHL, along with an NAHL 18U Selects team comprised of some of the top players currently playing in the NAHL that were born in 1993 or later.
All NAHL players are eligible to participate in the Top Prospects Tournament, regardless if they’ve committed to an NCAA school. Each of the teams will consist of a 20-man roster (12 forwards, 6 defensemen, 2 goaltenders), with minor player divisional crossover amongst the six teams. “The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament continues to be one of our signature events as the league of opportunity,” said NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “Not only do we get a chance to return to the founding roots of the NAHL in the great hockey state of Michigan, but we get to showcase our top prospects to college and professional scouts from all over the hockey world. This field for this year’s Top Prospects Tournament provides options for every scout and coach to get a close look at our league’s best talent competing against one another, and combined with the 3HL East Showcase and PHL Championship series, it should make for a great week of hockey.”
Teams will be ranked from first to last within each division based on winning percentage based upon standings as of January 16th.
In the three five-team divisions - Central, Midwest and North – five (5) players will represent the 1st place teams, four (4) players will represent the 2nd place teams, three (3) will represent the 3rd and 4th place teams; and two (2) will represent the 5th place teams.
In the seven-team South Division, five (5) players will represent the 1st place team, four (4) players will represent the 2nd and 3rd place teams, three (3) players will represent the 4th, 5th and 6th place teams and two (2) players will represent the 7th place team.
In the six-team West Division, five (5) players will represent the 1st place team, four (4) players will represent the 2nd place team, three (3) players will represent the 3rd, 4th and 5th place teams and two (2) players will represent the 6th place team.
2012 NAHL Top Prospects schedule:
Monday, February 20: 1:00pm - North vs. Midwest; 4:00pm - South vs. Central; 7:00pm - West vs. NAHL 18U Selects
Tuesday, February 21: 1:00pm - Central vs. NAHL 18U Selects; 4:00pm - West vs. North; 7:00pm - Midwest vs. South
Wednesday, February 22: 9:00am - South vs. West; 12:00pm - NAHL 18U Selects vs. Midwest; 3:00pm - North vs. Central
The head coach of the team with the highest winning percentage in each division as of January 16th will serve as the head coach of the Top Prospects team representing that division. The head coach with the second-highest winning percentage will serve as the team’s assistant coach. The head coaches of each Top Prospect team will make final roster decisions after considering the player nominations submitted by individual teams. Top Prospects rosters for all teams will be formerly announced on Tuesday, January 24th at 11am (cst) on nahl.com and nahltopprospects.com.
In conjunction with the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, all North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL) teams - Midget Major, Midget Minor and Bantam Major - will compete in the PHL Championship Tournament Series for the right to be crowned league champions. That event will run from February 17-20, also at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan.
The North American 3 Hockey League (3HL) will also have representation at the Top Prospects Tournament, as eight of the league’s 16 teams (Battle Creek, Cleveland, Flint, Metro, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Queen City and Toledo) will play four regular season games from February 19-22 at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)