The 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game saw some of the best draft eligible prospects from coast-to-coast display their speed, vision and creativity in Guelph last week.
Team Cherry claimed victory for the second straight year, defeating Team Orr 7-4 before a capacity crowd in Guelph.
If you like goals, you enjoyed this game. Here are 10 unique facts and a few bits of history that were made in the 23rd edition of the annual showcase.
Team Cherry wins back-to-back for first time: With the 7-4 win, Team Cherry takes consecutive victories for the first time in the event’s 23-year history and improves to an overall mark of 7-13-0-0.
Team Cherry sets new scoring record: After tying an event record with three goals in a span of 2:12, Team Cherry sealed the deal with another goal shortly thereafter, making it three goals in a span of just 1:07 to take a 4-0 lead after one period. This record with goals by Aidan Dudas and Ty Dellandrea (2) eclipses a mark set by Team Orr in 2011 that featured goals from Nathan Beaulieu, Zack Phillips and Vincent Trocheck.
Dellandrea makes history: Flint Firebirds forward Ty Dellandrea smashed an event record that had been in place since 1996, scoring first period goals just 20 seconds apart to help guide Team Cherry to victory. Dellandrea bested J.P. Dumont’s mark of two goals in 3:22 to etch his name in the #SWTP record book.
Defenceman steals the show once again: After Team Cherry’s Henri Jokiharju (Portland Winterhawks) set an event record for defencemen with three assists last year in Quebec City, Evan Bouchard (London Knights) stepped up and bested that total, racking up four to also earn Jim Gregory Player of the Game honours for Team Cherry. Bouchard’s four assists tie Daniel Briere’s 1996 mark as he joins five others in event history that registered four points in a game. Of note, Bouchard continued his playmaking on Friday, returning to the London Knights lineup with a four-assist effort.
Dellandrea, Dudas, Zadina all score twice: Three Team Cherry teammates scored twice, marking the first time in event history that three players from the same team had multi-goal outputs. Zadina (Halifax Mooseheads) entered play as the second-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings while Dudas (Owen Sound Attack) was the last player added to the game, learning of his participation within 24 hours before the drop of the puck as an injury replacement.
Bahl breaks out: Despite recording just two multi-point games in his OHL career, 6-foot-6 Team Orr defenceman Kevin Bahl of the Ottawa 67’s earned Jim Gregory Player of the Game honours for his club with a goal and an assist. Bahl, who wears #88 because of his admiration for Team Orr head coach Eric Lindros, showed glimpses of the ‘Big E’ with his effort in Guelph. Bahl’s presence continued to be felt at CHL events after he scored a goal for Team OHL in the 2017 CIBC Canada-Russia Series earlier this season.
Greyhounds continue streak: The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds tied an event record set by the Plymouth Whalers in 2008, sending players to the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game for the ninth straight year. Barrett Hayton and Rasmus Sandin represented Team Cherry and are part of a line of Greyhounds contributions that also include current day NHL names in Matt Murray (Pittsburgh Penguins), Darnell Nurse (Edmonton Oilers) and Jared McCann (Florida Panthers).
Mooseheads keep making an impact: The Halifax Mooseheads sent four players to last week’s game including Team Cherry’s Filip Zadina who followed in the footsteps of 2017 first overall NHL Draft pick Nico Hischier in putting forth a strong performance. Zadina, Alexis Gravel, Benoit-Olivier Groulx and Jared McIsaac join a line of standout Mooseheads to compete at the event in Hischier, Timo Meier, Nikolaj Ehlers, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Zach Fucale.
Lindros steps behind the bench for first time: With Bobby Orr not in attendance, Oshawa Generals graduate and NHL great Eric Lindros stepped behind the bench for Team Orr. Despite the loss, Lindros enjoyed his experience, embracing the opportunity to coach highly touted names in Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts), Serron Noel (Oshawa Generals) and Noah Dobson (Acadie-Bathurst Titan).
Dobson, Hayton, Foudy, Svechnikov, Thomas impress in Sport Testing combine: A number of players showed advanced athleticism during the Sport Testing combine. Acadie-Bathurst Titan defenceman Noah Dobson came out on top in the on-ice portion finishing first in both the 30-metre backward skate and 30-metre backward skate with a puck exercises to achieve the highest score of any player. Other on-ice standouts included Barrie Colts forward Andrei Svechnikov, Niagara IceDogs forward Akil Thomas and London Knights forward Liam Foudy.
Foudy also excelled in the off-ice testing held at the University of Guelph, finishing first in the vertical jump and broad jump tests. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Barrett Hayton achieved the highest overall off-ice score, winning both the ‘grip left’ and pro-agility left testing. Full results
The 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game featured 40 of the Canadian Hockey League’s top players eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft which takes place June 22-23 in Dallas.