2018 NAHL Top Prospects schedule, coaches, team breakdown announced
February 8, 2018
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the schedule, coaches, and number of players that will represent each team at the 2018 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, which will be held from February 27-28, 2018 at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan.
For more info on the 2018 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, click here
2018 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament Schedule (subject to change, all times eastern)
Tuesday, February 27th
1:00pm: Midwest Division vs. NAHL Selects Red
4:00pm: South Division vs. East Division
7:00pm: Central Division vs. NAHL Selects White
Wednesday, February 28th
11:00am: NAHL Selects Red vs. South Division
2:00pm: Central Division vs. Midwest Division
5:00pm: NAHL Selects White vs. East Division
Scout passes for the 2018 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament are now on sale. The scout pass for the event includes: a pass for entrance into the USA Hockey Arena for both days of the event, access to the scout room, which will include catered food and beverage throughout the event, a tournament program, and line charts/rosters for each game. Passes are valid for all NAHL and NA3HL Top Prospects games.
The number of players each NAHL team is sending to the tournament, in which four teams from the four NAHL divisions: Central, East, Midwest and South and two NAHL Selects teams, will each play in two game games, was based on each team’s winning percentage within their group as of February 5, 2018.
The official rosters of all six teams will be announced the afternoon of Monday, February 12th on Facebook Live on the NAHL Facebook page.
For the Central Division, the Aberdeen Wings will send five players, the Austin Bruins will send four, the Minnesota Wilderness, Minot Minotauros, and Bismarck Bobcats will each send three and the Brookings Blizzard will send two. The head coach of the Central team will be Scott Langer from the Aberdeen Wings and the assistant coach will be Steve Howard from the Austin Bruins.
For the East Division, the Philadelphia Rebels will send five players, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights will send four, the Northeast Generals and New Jersey Titans will each send three and the Johnstown Tomahawks will send two. The NAHL will select three more wild card players to play on the East Division team. The head coach of the East team will be Joe Coombs from the Philadelphia Rebels and the assistant coach will be Tom Kowal from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights.
In the Midwest Division, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs will send five players, the Janesville Jets will send four, the Minnesota Magicians, Springfield Jr. Blues, and Coulee Region Chill will each send three and the Kenai River Brown Bears will send two. The head coach of the Midwest team will be Trevor Stewart from the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and the assistant coach will be Gary Shuchuk from the Janesville Jets.
In the South Division, the Shreveport Mudbugs will send five players, the Lone Star Brahmas will send four, the Odessa Jackalopes, Corpus Christi IceRays, and Amarillo Bulls will each send three and the Topeka RoadRunners will send two. The head coach of the South team will be will be Karlis Zirnis from the Shreveport Mudbugs and the assistant coach will be Dan Wildfong from the Lone Star Brahmas.
The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament is one of the most highly-scouted events in junior hockey. Last season, over 230 scouts attended the event, which featured almost every NHL team and NCAA Division I school. It continues to be an important part of the NAHL event model, which includes the NAHL Showcase in September and the NAHL Robertson Cup National Championship in May.
One of the things the NAHL does better than any other junior league is seeing their players earn an NCAA opportunity while playing and being showcased in the NAHL. To date, 151 players have already made NCAA Division I commitments during the 2017-18 season. The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament plays a big role in that success, with over half of the players who played in last year’s Top Prospects Tournament, earning an NCAA Division I opportunity following their participation in the event. The event continues to provide the hundreds of NHL and NCAA scouts in attendance with a look at the best uncommitted players the NAHL has to offer, as well as, some potential NHL Draft picks.