The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that the 2013 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, presented by Combat Hockey, will be held from February 18-20, 2013 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 that represent five geographic regions: Dakota, Frontier, Great Lakes, Midwest and Texas, along with an NAHL 18U Selects team comprised of some of the top players currently playing in the NAHL that are 18 years old or younger.
In a very short period of time, the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament has become one of the most highly-scouted events of its kind. Last season, over 160 scouts attended the event, which featured almost every NHL team and NCAA Division I school. Over a third of the players that competed in last year’s event ended up with an NCAA Division I opportunity.
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). The following is a breakdown of each Top Prospects team and which NAHL team will be represented:
Dakota: Aberdeen Wings, Austin Bruins, Bismarck Bobcats, Brookings Blizzard, Minot Minotauros
Frontier: Fairbanks Ice Dogs, Fresno Monsters, Kenai River Brown Bears, Wenatchee Wild, *3 wild card players
Great Lakes:Jamestown Ironmen, Johnstown Tomahawks, Michigan Warriors, Port Huron Fighting Falcons, Soo Eagles
Midwest: Coulee Region Chill, Janesville Jets, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings, Springfield Jr. Blues, Topeka RoadRunners
Texas: Amarillo Bulls, Corpus Christi IceRays, Odessa Jackalopes, Texas Tornado, Wichita Falls Wildcats
“The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament is one of the marquee exposure events in the country for every NHL and NCAA scout to participate,” said NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “Combined with the NA3HL Showcase and NAPHL Championship series, it makes for an exciting week of hockey and provides a great opportunity for every scout and coach to get a close look at our league’s brightest talent.”
Teams will be ranked from first to last within each group based on winning percentage based upon standings as of January 14th. The highest seed in each group will send five players; the three middle seeds send four players each, and the lowest seed sends three players. Three wildcard players in Frontier Division will be determined by League office in consultation with NAHL Competition Committee. The head coach of the team with the best winning percentage in each group as of January 14th shall serve as the head coach for that group’s Top Prospects team. The head coach with the second best winning percentage in each group shall serve as the assistant coach for that group’s Top Prospects team.
2013 NAHL Top Prospects Schedule (all times Eastern Standard Time):
Monday, February 18th: 2:00pm – Dakota vs. Great Lakes, 4:30pm – NAHL 18U Selects vs. Midwest, 7:00pm – Frontier vs. Texas
Tuesday, February 19th: 2:00pm – NAHL 18U Selects vs. Dakota, 4:30pm – Frontier vs. Midwest, 7:00pm – Great Lakes vs. Texas
Wednesday, February 20th: 9:00am – Frontier vs. NAHL 18U Selects, 11:30am – Texas vs. Dakota, 2:00pm – Midwest vs. Great Lakes
The Head Coaches of each Top Prospect Team will make final roster decisions after considering the player nominations submitted by individual teams. Top Prospects Head Coaches will finalize their rosters by 5:00pm CST on January 17th. Top Prospects rosters for all teams will be formally announced on Tuesday, January 22nd on www.nahl.com and www.nahltopprospects.com.
In conjunction with the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, all North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) teams - Midget Major and Midget Minor will compete in the NAPHL Championship Tournament Series for the right to be crowned league champions. That event runs from February 15-18, also at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan.
The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) will also have representation at the Top Prospects Tournament, as all 17 teams will compete in their second league-wide Showcase of the season. Teams will play between 3-4 regular season games from February 17-20 at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan.
For more information on the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, visit http://www.nahltopprospects.com/.
For more information on the NAPHL, visit http://www.naphl.com/.
For more information on the NA3HL, visit http://www.na3hl.com/.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)