WINDSOR, Ont. – The 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will be played in Windsor, Ont., after Montreal withdrew due to a scheduling conflict.
The Jan. 19 game will be held at the WFCU Centre, home of the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires.
“It is only fitting that a world-class facility like the WFCU Centre hosts the best draft-eligible players in the world as they showcase their skills before NHL scouts and fans in attendance and before a national television audience,” said CHL president David Branch.
The game was originally scheduled to be held at Montreal’s Bell Centre, which will instead host the 2011 game.
“When we found out that the Bell Centre was not available, Windsor was the next choice to turn to,” Branch said.
All 30 NHL general managers and members of their scouting staffs are expected at the showcase event.
The game has proven to be a launching pad for pro hockey careers. All 16 CHL players who were drafted in the first round of the most recent NHL Entry Draft participated in the 2009.
“This game is an extraordinary opportunity for NHL general managers and their scouting staffs to watch the best draft-eligible players in the world compete against each other,” said E.J. McGuire, the director of NHL Central Scouting.
Spitfires officials were thrilled with the announcement.
“We are excited to provide our fans with the opportunity to enjoy some of the world’s best junior-aged hockey talent,” said Spitfires president and head coach Bob Boughner.
The Top Prospects Game comes on the heels of the OHL All-Star Classic earlier this year in Windsor.
“The Spitfires really took the OHL all-star game to a new level,” Branch said. “That is one of the main reasons that the CHL turned to the Spits and the City of Windsor when we had to quickly find a location for the Top Prospects Game.”
The event has evolved into a two-day affair since its inception 15 years ago, with skills on display the first day, followed by the game the following evening.
Rosters for the 2010 CHL Top Prospects Game will be selected by NHL GMs and scouts.