The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the number of players that will represent each team at next month’s NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, presented by Combat Hockey, which will be held from February 18-20, 2013 at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan, along with the teams’ coaches.
The number of players each NAHL team can to send to the tournament, in which five teams from five different regional groups: Dakota, Frontier, Great Lakes, Midwest and Texas and a special sixth NAHL 18U Selects team, will each play three games, is based on each team’s winning percentage within their group as of January 14, 2013.
In the Dakota group, the Austin Bruins (.797) will send five players, the Bismarck Bobcats (.611), Brookings Blizzard (.571) and Minot Minotauros (.539) will each send four and the Aberdeen Wings (.278) will send three. The head coach of the Dakota team will be Chris Tok from the Austin Bruins and the assistant coach will be Layne Sedevie from the Bismarck Bobcats.
In the Frontier group, the Wenatchee Wild (.809) will send five players and the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (.708), Kenai River Brown Bears (.444) and Fresno Monsters (.368) will each send four. Three additional wild card players will be selected by the NAHL competition committee and added to the team. The head coach of the Frontier team will be Bliss Littler from the Wenatchee Wild and the assistant coach will be Trevor Stewart from the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
In the Great Lakes group, the Jamestown Ironmen (.716) will send five players, the Soo Eagles (.705), the Johnstown Tomahawks (.577) and the Port Huron Fighting Falcons (.476) will each send four and the Michigan Warriors (.408) will send three. The head coach of the Great Lakes team will be Dan Daikawa from the Jamestown Ironmen and the assistant coach will be Bruno Bragagnolo from the Soo Eagles.
In the Midwest group, the Topeka RoadRunners (.662) will send five players, the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings (.628), the Janesville Jets (.462) and the Springfield Jr. Blues (.450) will each send four and the Coulee Region Chill (.347) will send three. The head coach of the Midwest team will be Scott Langer from the Topeka RoadRunners and the assistant coach will be Marc Fakler from the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings.
In the Texas group, the Amarillo Bulls (.819) will send five players, the Texas Tornado (.731), the Corpus Christi IceRays (.486) and the Wichita Falls Wildcats (.412) will each send four and the Odessa Jackalopes (.167) will send three. The head coach of the Texas team will be Dennis Williams from the Amarillo Bulls and the assistant coach will be Tony Curtale from the Texas Tornado.
Click here for the 2013 NAHL Top Prospects schedule
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 nahl.com and 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.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)