Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and the Quebec Remparts Hockey Club, today announced that the 2017 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will be hosted by the Remparts at Centre Vidéotron on Monday January 30, 2017 (changed from Thursday January 26, 2017).
The 2017 event will mark the 22nd annual showcase of the CHL’s top-40 NHL draft eligible players featuring talent from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Western Hockey League competing before hundreds of NHL scouts in attendance.
“On behalf of the Canadian Hockey League, we are very pleased to announce the return of the Top Prospects Game to Quebec City in 2017,” said CHL President David Branch. “Since 1996 this event has annually featured the next wave of NHL talent showcasing their skills before hundreds of NHL scouts and General Managers. This event is a special experience for players across the CHL who will undoubtedly enjoy competing in the beautiful new Centre Vidéotron in front of Quebec’s passionate fans.”
Next season will be the third time the event is hosted by the QMJHL and second time it will be played in Quebec following the 2007 event. 13 other Canadian cities have hosted including Toronto (1996-98, 2000, 2011), Calgary (1999, 2001, 2014), Saskatoon (2002), Kitchener (2003), London (2004), Ottawa (2006), Edmonton (2008), Oshawa (2009), Windsor (2010), Kelowna (2012), Halifax (2013), St. Catharines (2015), and Vancouver (2005, 2016).
The 2016-17 season marks the 20th campaign for the Remparts since returning to the QMJHL in 1997-98. This season the club is competing in the brand new Centre Vidéotron and have already established a new franchise record for attendance in a season with over 412,000 fans including an opening night sellout of 18,259 on September 12 against the Rimouski Oceanic.
The Remparts have had 16 players compete in this event with five of them chosen in the first round of the NHL Draft the same season. That list includes Eric Chouinard (Montreal 1998), Simon Gagne (Philadelphia 1998), Maxime Ouellet (Philadelphia 1999), Angelo Esposito (Pittsburgh 2007), and Mikhail Grigorenko (Buffalo 2012). In 2007, Esposito represented his hometown Remparts at Colisée Pepsi for a team coached by Scotty Bowman and Jacques Demers who fell 5-3 to a team coached by Pat Burns and Michel Bergeron. Remparts’ forward Ruslan Bashkirov earned Player of the Game honours for the winning side scoring a pair of goals.
Since the event was first introduced in 1996 the game has featured 13 players that were selected with the first overall pick in the NHL Draft including Chris Phillips (1996), Joe Thornton (1997), Vincent Lecavalier (1998), Rick Nash (2002), Marc-Andre Fleury (2003), Patrick Kane (2007), Steven Stamkos (2008), John Tavares (2009), Taylor Hall (2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011), Nathan MacKinnon (2013), Aaron Ekblad (2014), and Connor McDavid (2015).
This season, 35 of the top-60 ranked North American skaters eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft competed on January 28 in Vancouver, BC. Top ranked Matthew Tkachuk of the London Knights captained Team Orr to a 3-2 victory over Team Cherry that featured number two ranked Jakob Chychrun of the Sarnia Sting. Pascal Laberge of the Victoriaville Tigres was named Player of the Game with two goals and one assist, competing alongside Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles who scored once with two assists.
The 2017 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is proudly supported by associate sponsors, Cooper Tires, autoTRADER.ca, and Sherwin Williams. The game will be broadcast live across Canada on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
For more information about the event please visit www.bmotopprospects.ca.