FRISCO, TEXAS – 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 Easton, which will be held from February 15-16, 2016 at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, along with the teams’ coaches.
The number of players each NAHL team can to send to the tournament, in which four teams from the four NAHL divisions: Central, East, Midwest and South and a special fifth NAHL Selects team, will each play in two game games, is based on each team’s winning percentage within their group as of January 19, 2016.
For the Central Division, the Bismarck Bobcats (.603) will send five players, the Austin Bruins (.597) will send four, the Minot Minotauros (.527) will send four (one to play on East team), the Brookings Blizzard (.500) and Minnesota Magicians (.457) will each send three and the Aberdeen Wings (.441) will send two. The head coach of the Central team will be Layne Sedevie from the Bismarck Bobcats and the assistant coach will be Kyle Grabowski from the Austin Bruins.
For the East Division, the New Jersey Titans (.611) will send five players, the Aston Rebels (.608) and Johnstown Tomahawks (.538) will each send four, and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (.441) will send three. The others players that will join the East team include one from each of the 3rd place teams in the other three divisions, who are the Minot Minotauros, Janesville Jets and the Topeka RoadRunners, in addition to one more at-large selection, which will finalize the 20 spots. The head coach of the East team will be Rich McKenna from the New Jersey Titans and the assistant coach will be Joe Coombs from the Aston Rebels.
In the Midwest Division, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (.819) will send five players, the Minnesota Wilderness (.689) will send four, the Janesville Jets (.632) will send four (one to play on East team), the Springfield Jr. Blues (.583) and Coulee Region Chill (.455) will each send three and the Kenai River Brown Bears (.069) will send two. The head coach of the Midwest team will be Trevor Stewart from the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and the assistant coach will be Corey Millen from the Minnesota Wilderness.
In the South Division, the Wichita Falls Wildcats (.803) will send five players, the Lone Star Brahmas (.716) will send four, the Topeka RoadRunners (.628) will send four (one to play on East team), the Corpus Christi IceRays (.486) and Odessa Jackalopes (.394) will each send three and the Amarillo Bulls (.264) will send two. each send three and the Amarillo Bulls (.446) will send two. The head coach of the South team will be will be John LaFontaine from the Wichita Falls Wildcats and the assistant coach will be Dan Wildfong from the Lone Star Brahmas.
The NAHL is also pleased to announce that the US National Team Development Program (NTDP) 17-Team will also take part in the NAHL event. The NAHL and the NTDP have a rich and productive 12-year history together, as the NTDP was a full-time member of the NAHL from 1997-2009 and has been a part of the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the past two seasons.
2016 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament Schedule (Eastern time, subject to change)
Monday, February 15th
1:30pm: East Division vs. South Division
4:30pm: Midwest Division vs. NAHL Selects
7:30pm: Central Division vs. USNTDP 17-Team
Tuesday, February 16th
11:00am: Midwest Division vs. South Division
2:00pm: Central Division vs. East Division
5:00pm: NAHL Selects vs. USNTDP 17-Team
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 22nd. Top Prospects rosters for all teams are expected to be formally announced on Monday, January 25th on nahl.com.
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 200 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. Combined in 2016 with the NAPHL 18U and 16U Dixon Cup Championship Games and the NA3HL Top Prospect Tournament, it will make for an exciting week of hockey and provides a great opportunity for every scout and coach to get a close look the talent in the three leagues.
For more information on the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, visit www.nahl.com/tpt.
About the NAHL
The NAHL, the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior league boasting 22 teams from across North America, prides itself on the social maturity and skill development of student-athletes ages 16-20 with aspirations of advancing to collegiate and/or professional hockey. During the 2014-15 season, a record total of 226 NAHL players committed to NCAA schools. In addition, 11 current NAHL players were listed on the 2015 NHL Central Scouting ‘Players to Watch’ list and seven players with NAHL ties were selected in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. For more information, visit www.nahl.com.