Top Prospects breakdown and details announced
January 15, 2015
The 2015 North American Hockey League (NAHL) Top Prospects Tournament, presented by Easton, will be held from February 23-24 at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In cooperation with the NAHL event, the NAPHL and NA3HL will also play their respective 2015 Top Prospect Tournaments at the same venue on the same days, as the three leagues merge their Top Prospects events together for the very first time.
100 total players from the NAHL will be spread amongst five teams, who will play in two games each during the event. The event will feature teams that represent the four divisions in the NAHL: Central, Midwest, North and South, along with an NAHL Selects team comprised of some of the top young players and also some players listed on NHL Central Scouting that are currently playing in the NAHL.
The NAHL Standings will be frozen on Sunday, January 18th. Teams will be seeded within their division based on win percentage. The #1 seeded team in each division will send 5 players; the #2 seeded team will send 4 players, teams seeded 3rd thru 5th will send 3 players each, and teams seeded 6th thru 8th will send 2 players. The 7h place team in the South Division will send 2 players to play on the Central team and the 8th place team in the South will send 2 players to play on the Midwest team.
The head coach of the team with the best winning percentage in each division as of Sunday, January 18th shall serve as the head coach for that division’s Top Prospects team. The head coach with the second best winning percentage in each division shall serve as the assistant coach for that division’s Top Prospects team.
Note: Players with college commitments are NOT eligible for selection to the divisional teams. However, players with college commitments are eligible for selection to the NAHL Selects Team. Each roster will consist of 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies. Top Prospects rosters are expected to be announced later in January.
The NAHL is also pleased to announce that the US National Team Development Program (NTDP) will also take part in the NAHL event, with the USNTDP 18-Team playing the South Division team on Monday, February 23rd and then the USNTDP 17-Team facing the NAHL Selects Team on Tuesday, February 24th. The NAHL and the NTDP have a rich and productive 12-year history together, as the NTDP was a full-time member of the NAHL from 1997-2009.
2015 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament Schedule
Monday, February 23rd: North vs. Central, 1pm – NAHL Selects vs. Midwest, 4pm – South vs. USNTDP-18, 7pm
Tuesday, February 24th: Midwest vs. North, 11am – Central vs. South, 2pm – NAHL Selects vs. USNTDP-17, 5pm
In a very short period of time, the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament has become one of the most highly-scouted events of its kind. Last season, over 180 scouts attended the event, which featured almost every NHL team and NCAA Division I school. Over a third of the players that competed in last year’s event ended up with an NCAA Division I opportunity. Combined in 2015 with the NAPHL and the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournaments, it will make for an exciting week of hockey and provides a great opportunity for every scout and coach to get a close look the talent in the three leagues.
“With the addition of both USNTDP teams, as well as, the NAPHL and NA3HL Top Prospects Tournaments, we feel we have upgraded an already outstanding event and we are expecting the 2015 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament to be the best one to date,” said NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “Statistics and history has shown that the vast majority of players who participate in the event, end up with an NCAA opportunity. The event continues to provide the hundreds of scouts in attendance with a look at the best uncommitted players our league has to offer, as well as, some of our best, young stars. The addition of the USNTDP should take the competition to the next level and provide our players with a great opportunity to showcase their skills.”
The North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) and North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) will also play their Top Prospects Tournaments during the two days. The NAPHL will feature four teams comprised of 80 players and the NA3HL will have representation by all 31 teams will be represented amongst teams in the five divisions of the NA3HL, as well as, a sixth NA3HL 18U Selects Team.