Toronto, ON - The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Western Hockey League Kelowna Rockets Hockey Club and Home Hardware Stores Limited today announced the captains and alternate captains for the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game to be played February 1 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, BC.
Colton Sissons of the host Kelowna Rockets will captain Team Orr which will be coached by Pat Quinn, while Ryan Murray of the Everett Silvertips will be captain for Team Cherry which is coached by Mark Recchi. Alternate captains for Team Orr include Mikhail Grigorenko of the Quebec Remparts and Tanner Pearson of the Barrie Colts, with Brendan Gaunce of the Belleville Bulls and Martin Frk of the Halifax Mooseheads serving as alternate captains for Team Cherry.
Sissons, an 18-year-old from North Vancouver, BC, is the top ranked WHL forward at number 14 in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Playing in his second WHL season, Sissons also serves as captain of the Rockets where he has 36 points in 48 games so far this season. Team Orr’s alternate captains both competed at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship with Grigorenko earning a silver medal with Russia and Pearson winning bronze with Canada. Grigorenko is the top ranked QMJHL forward at number two overall and leads all rookies with 60 points in 38 games for the Remparts. Pearson, ranked 22 by NHL Central Scouting, is currently second in OHL scoring with 70 points in 37 games for the Colts.
Murray, an 18-year-old defenceman from White City, SK, will lead Team Cherry as the top ranked WHL skater for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at number three among North American prospects. He also captains the Silvertips and represented Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. Gaunce represents the OHL as an alternate captain on Team Cherry, also serving as an alternate for the Bulls where he leads the club with 44 points in 45 games as the number 11 ranked prospect. The Mooseheads’ Frk is the second highest ranked QMJHL skater for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at number 25 and has 10 points in 14 games since returning from injury after posting 50 points in 62 games as a rookie last season.
Also announced today was the addition of goaltender Chris Driedger of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen to the Team Orr roster for the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
Driedger, a 17-year-old from Winnipeg, Manitoba, was ranked 12th among North American Goaltenders by NHL Central Scouting in their midterm rankings. At 6’2’’ and 186lbs, Driedger is playing in his second season and first with the Hitmen. In 27 games he carries a record of 13-7-2-1 with one shutout and a goals-against-average of 2.86 and save percentage of .894. Driedger replaces Malcolm Subban of the Belleville Bulls who is unable to participate due to injury.
The 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is supported by title sponsor Home Hardware for the 13th straight year with associate sponsors Bank of Montreal, Subway, and CCM.
The game will be broadcast live to a national audience on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Quebec beginning at 7:00 pm Pacific and available online through Sportsnet 590 The FAN.
The 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will mark the 17th annual showcase of the CHL’s top-40 NHL draft eligible players. The two-day event also features a skills competition and three-on-three challenge taking place on Tuesday January 31, 2012. Ticket packages are still available for the two-day event and can be purchased at http://www.selectyourtickets.com/prospects.php or by calling 250-762-5050.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)
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