First NAHL Future Prospects Tournament a rousing success
October 25, 2017
The first NAHL Future Prospects Tournament of the 2017-18 season concluded on Monday weekend at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota.
Teams at the 18U, 16U and 14U levels competed in an invitational-style tournament consisting of a minimum of four games as the took part in the ‘NAHL Experience.’
Players were not only greeted by the great and exciting atmosphere at the Schwan Super Rink, but they also received exposure to NAHL Central Scouting, as well as, over 40 junior scouts who check in and attended the event.
Teams, players and parents also were part of the NCAA Compliance and Education seminar, which was held on Friday. Directed by NAHL Director of Player Personnel and NAPHL Director Tony Zasowski and NAHL Director of Compliance and Education Craig Barnett, the Education and Compliance seminar covered several topics including a breakdown and explanation of the junior hockey landscape in North America, the differences between NCAA Division I and III hockey, an introduction to the NCAA Eligibility Center and important soon-to-be changes, Academic requirements needed to compete at the NCAA level, and how the college recruiting process works.
“We received some great compliments on the level of competition that the Future Prospects Tournament provided everyone, especially the scouts,” said NAHL Director of Player of Personnel Tony Zasowski. “There were some performances here that put players on the radar of several junior teams and NAHL Central Scouting.”
Here is a recap of each of the divisions at the event:
14U Division – Champions: Thunder Bay Kings
The Thunder Bay Kings 14U team went a perfect 6-0 at the event to claim the title. Kings forward Nolan Dejardins was the top scorer of the event and the hero in the Championship game as he scored two goals, including the overtime-winner in a 3-2 win over Valley Forge Minutemen. For the Minutemen, it was their first loss of the event as they went through the round-robin undefeated. Thunder Bay and Valley Forge statistically had the top two goalies of the event in Gage Stewart (Thunder Bay) and Brandon Heck (Valley Forge).
16U Division – Champions: Tommy Chicago’s AAA
The Finals were a match-up of Minnesota-based teams, who were comprised of some of the best high school sophomores in the state. In another exciting championship contest, Tommy Chicago’s AAA edged out the Minnesota Blades 15U team, 4-3. Cole Cavanagh’s 4th goal of the event with just over a minute remaining in regulation was the difference in the Championship game. Austen Humphrey (11 points) and Dahlton Saltness (9 points) led Tommy Chicago’s in scoring, while Minnesota Blades forward Zach Michaelis (12 points) was the leading scorer for the event. The leading goalies included Sam Potter from Green Giant, Kaleb Johnson from Team North Dakota, and Trevor Wong from the Minnesota Blades.
18U Division – Champions: Minnesota Penguins
The Minnesota Penguins completed a perfect and dominant run through the 18U FPT Division with a 4-1 win over the Nashville Jr. Predators in the 18U Championship game. Penguins forwards Jack Evans and Matt Fisher shared the event scoring lead, each recording nine points. Penguins defenseman Lars Olson was right behind with eight points. Elliott Greene led his club with three goals and four points. Nashville goalie Hunter Oliveira was the goalie leader with a 2-0 record and a 97.7% save percentage, which was right ahead of Penguins goalie Jacob Mitchel, who won all five games for the champs.
The second NAHL Future Prospects Tournament event will take place from December 1-4, 2017 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota and feature teams in the 18U, 16U, and 14U Divisions.