The draft prospect all-star game has announced its rosters and all the big names are there. But with so much talent available, there were some notables who didn’t get an invite to the dance.
The CHL Top Prospects Game will be held Jan. 22 in St. Catharines, Ont., at the new home of the Ontario League’s Niagara IceDogs. Don Cherry and Bobby Orr will serve as coaches and yes, Connor McDavid made the cut. With only 40 roster spots available, not every CHLer up for the 2015 draft could be chosen and while there weren’t any huge omissions this year, some players certainly had strong cases for inclusion. So who are the stars and snubs for the game?
Connor McDavid, Erie – Duh. The gifted center will go first overall this summer and will be an impact player in the NHL thanks to his incredible vision, speed and playmaking ability.
Dylan Strome, Erie – Another great Otters center, Strome is a big kid who has put up nearly two points a game this year and also plays responsibly.
Mitch Marner, London – The leading scorer in the OHL right now, Marner is a devilishly clever and talented player with great quickness.
Matt Barzal, Seattle – Coming off a knee injury that has sidelined him since mid-November, Barzal will get a chance to show off his insane playmaking skill set.
Pavel Zacha, Sarnia – The Czech power forward will have a busy schedule thanks to the world juniors, but his size and shot are worth seeing again and again.
Alexandre Carrier, Gatineau – The offensive defenseman leads the entire Quebec League in scoring by a blueliner with 31 points through 35 games.
Dmytro Timashov, Quebec – No draft-eligible player in the ‘Q’ has more points than Timashov’s 51 in 32 games. He skates well and plays with heart.
Blake Speers, Sault Ste. Marie – Only three draft-eligible players have more points in the OHL: Marner, Strome and McDavid. Speers has gifted hands and can both dish and shoot.
Rasmus Andersson, Barrie – The Swedish defenseman has tried admirably to help make up for the loss of Aaron Ekblad and has been on an offensive tear lately.
Parker Wotherspoon, Tri-City – The Americans already have blueliner Brandon Carlo attending, but Wotherspoon has nice offensive numbers and plays with an edge