2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament just two months away
December 17, 2019
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the location and date for the 2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, which will be held from February 17-18, 2020 at the New England Sports Village in Attleboro, Massachusetts. The New England Sports Village is home to the NAHL and NA3HL’s Northeast Generals.
The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament is one of the most highly scouted events of its kind. Last season, over 220 scouts attended the event, which featured almost every NHL team and NCAA Division I school. 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. It continues to be an important part of the NAHL event model, which is inclusive of the NAHL Showcase in September and the NAHL Robertson Cup National Championship in May.
“We are excited about returning the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament out East and showcasing our league and players to and wide variety of scouts and fans. We received some positive feedback from the event last year and saw an increased number of NCAA teams and scouts from the region attend the event,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld. “The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament is the most unique event we host, because its sole purpose is to provide those players that are still uncommitted a great opportunity to play in front of hundreds of NCAA and NHL scouts for a chance to make a great impression and earn an NCAA commitment or get drafted into the NHL.”
The NAHL, which is USA Hockey’s only Tier II junior hockey league, enters the event riding an all-time high for player commitment and advancement. For the sixth year in a row, the NAHL set a new NCAA commitment record, this time finishing with 351 total NCAA commitments during the 2018-19 season, which included a record total of 232 NCAA Division I commitments. Over half of the record-breaking NCAA commitments last season came following the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. In addition, 34% of freshmen that played NCAA Division I hockey this past season were alumni of the NAHL. It once again re-emphasizes that no other junior league in the world saw as many NCAA commitments for their players, while they were actually playing in the league.
“The fact that over half our NCAA commitments came after our Top Prospects event is a testament to the model. Scouts now have an established roadmap to track a player’s development, which includes assessments throughout the season and then making a determination based on his progression,” continued Frankenfeld.
The 2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament will feature a total of 108 players from the NAHL, who will be spread amongst six teams that will play in two games each during the event. The event will feature teams that represent the four divisions in the NAHL: Central, East, Midwest and South, along with two NAHL Selects teams. Only those NAHL players without an NCAA commitment are eligible to participate in the 2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, with the exception of those who will be playing on the NAHL Selects teams. Each of the teams will consist of an 18-man roster (10 forwards, 6 defensemen, 2 goaltenders).
The NAHL Standings will be frozen at midnight on January 20th. Teams will then be seeded within their division based on win percentage and the number of spots each team received is based of their position in the standings. The head coach of the team with the best winning percentage in each division as of midnight on January 20th 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. The Head Coaches of each Top Prospect team will make final roster decisions after considering the player nominations submitted by individual teams. Top Prospects Head Coaches will finalize their rosters by 5:00pm Central Time on Friday, January 24th.The 2020 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament will also be played in conjunction with the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Attleboro.