By Matt Mackinder –
It’s an NHL scout’s and college scout’s dream to see numerous teams and top players under one roof and from Feb. 15-20, that will be the case at the Troy Sports Center.
The North American Hockey League’s Top Prospects Tournament, North American 3 Hockey League Showcase and North American Prospects Hockey League Championship will all take Troy by storm this week.
The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament goes from Feb. 18-20 as 120 total players from the NAHL will be spread among six teams, who will play in three games each during the event. The event will feature teams that represent five geographic regions – Dakota, Frontier, Great Lakes, Midwest and Texas, along with an NAHL 18U Selects team comprised of some of the top players currently playing in the NAHL that are 18 years old and under.
“The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament is one of the marquee exposure events in the country for every NHL and NCAA scout to participate,” said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “Combined with the NA3HL Showcase and NAPHL championship series, it makes for an exciting week of hockey and provides a great opportunity for every scout and coach to get a close look at our league’s brightest talent.”
After last year’s event in Troy, Frankenfeld beamed at the notion that the annual spectacular could gain even more exposure and notoriety.
“I think it was the best NAHL Top Prospects event we have had in five years, which is saying a lot because we have had so many great events and so many players move onto the next level from competing in previous tournaments,” said Frankenfeld. “The response from the scouts who came out to the event was incredible and nothing but positive. Not only did they come out in full force and in record numbers, it provided a great opportunity for all of our players.”
Michigan Warriors’ broadcaster Joey Battaino will handle the play-by-play duties at the event on FastHockey.com.
At the NA3HL level, all 17 teams, including the Michigan-based Battle Creek Jr. Revolution, Flint Jr. Generals, Metro (Waterford) Jets and Michigan (Fraser) Mountain Cats will compete in their second league-wide showcase of the season. Teams will play between 3-4 regular-season games from Feb. 17-20.
Then in the NAPHL, all Midget Major and Midget Minor teams will compete in the NAPHL Championship Tournament Series for the right to be crowned league champions. That event runs from February 15-18.
NAHL Top Prospects Tournament Schedule
Monday, Feb. 18
Dakota vs. Great Lakes, 2 p.m.
NAHL 18U Selects vs. Midwest
Frontier vs. Texas, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 19
NAHL 18U Selects vs. Dakota, 2 p.m.
Frontier vs. Midwest, 4:30 p.m.
Great Lakes vs. Texas, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 20
Frontier vs. NAHL 18U Selects, 9 a.m.
Texas vs. Dakota, 11:30 a.m.
Midwest vs. Great Lakes, 2 p.m.
Michigan Connections – NAHL Top Prospects Rosters
Scott Dornbrock, D, Minot Minotauros (Harper Woods)
Matt Seidel, F, Kenai River Brown Bears (Troy)
Ryan Walker, D, Kenai River Brown Bears (Detroit)
Bruno Bragagnolo, assistant coach, Soo Eagles (Soo head coach)
Rick DeRosa, F, Port Huron Fighting Falcons
Trevor Gorsuch, G, Michigan Warriors
Martin Gruse, F, Michigan Warriors (Trenton)
Nick Horne, F, Port Huron Fighting Falcons (Marysville)
Jonathan Kopacka, D, Port Huron Fighting Falcons (Metamora)
Max Milosek, G, Port Huron Fighting Falcons (Lapeer)
Sean Murphy, F, Soo Eagles
Eric Rivard, F, Soo Eagles (Traverse City)
Joshua Shellman, D, Michigan Warriors (Romulus)
Brett Szajner, D, Jamestown Ironmen (Novi)
Jared Van Wormer, F, Soo Eagles (Traverse City)
Cody Von Rueden, D, Soo Eagles
Luc Boby, F, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings
Taylor Burden, F, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings
Marc Fakler, assistant coach, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings (Kalamazoo head coach)
Kyle Gattelaro, F, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings
Brendan Vetter, D, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings
Tony Curtale, assistant coach, Texas Tornado (Detroit native, Tornado head coach)
Charles Hemstrom, D, Wichita Falls Wildcats (Romeo)
Michael Hoy, D, Texas Tornado (South Lyon)
Omar Mullan, F, Amarillo Bulls (Dearborn)
Nick Neville, D, Texas Tornado (Bloomfield Hills)
Wayland Williams, D, Corpus Christi IceRays (Canton)
NAHL 18U SELECTS
Brett Beauvais, D, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings
Trevor Boyd, F, Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings (Muskegon)
Brandon Hawkins, F, Texas Tornado (Macomb)
Alex Robert, D, Soo Eagles (Novi)