February 01, 2012
Kelowna, B.C. – Pat Quinn and Team Orr take on Mark Recchi and Team Cherry in the 2012 Home Hardware CHL / NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna, B.C.
The contest can be seen live on Sportsnet in all regions (7:00pm PT)
It’s the 17th edition of the annual event, which includes many of the Canadian Hockey League’s top NHL Draft-eligible prospects. For the 40 players taking part in the game, it’s a golden opportunity to showcase their skills and talent in front of NHL scouts and management.
“To be looked upon as one of the top prospects in the country is a big honor,” said Team Orr’s Colton Sissons of the Kelowna Rockets, who will have the hometown crowd cheering him on.
“There are a lot of great players who will be playing in the game, and it’s going to be a competitive game that will give me a chance to show what I can do and see how I stack up against some of the best players in the CHL,” he added.
Over the years, the Home Hardware CHL / NHL Top Prospects game has been a valuable stepping stone for many players who are now household names in the NHL. Several players who took part in the event went on to become the first overall pick in the NHL entry draft such as Chris Phillips, Steven Stamkos, Taylor Hall, and Rick Nash.
Last year, it was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels whose performance in the game helped cement him as the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NHL draft.
“You look at the names of players who have played in this event over the years, and you realize what an honor it is to be able to participate in this game,” said Lukas Sutter of the Saskatoon Blades, who will suit up for Team Orr on Wednesday night.
The thought of having so much scrutiny during the Home Hardware CHL / NHL Top Prospects Game can be a bit nerve-wracking and the desire to make a strong impression can often distract and throw players off their game.
While the urge to dazzle during the game may be in the back of their minds, the players know they need to stick with the play that got them there in the first place.
“You definitely have to stick to what got you here,” said Gianluca Curcuruto of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, who took the shooting accuracy contest in Tuesday night’s Skills Competition. “You have to play like there is no pressure, and go out there and have fun with it.”
The 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is supported by title sponsor Home Hardware for the 13th straight year with associate sponsors Bank of Montreal, Subway, and CCM.
For more on the 2012 Home Hardware CHL / NHL Top Prospects Game, visit homehardwaretopprospectsgame.com