The 2013 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will have a new look as well as a brand-new location.
For the first time in the 18-year history of the event, the game will be played in Atlantic Canada when the Top Prospects Game is played at the Halifax Metro Centre in Halifax, N.S.
The game, which will pit 40 of the top players in the Canadian Hockey League eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, will be played Jan. 16, 2013.
The big change for the 2013 event will be dropping the skills contest, making the Top Prospects Game a one-day affair.
The 2012 Top Prospects Game was held Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 in Kelowna, B.C.
"The Canadian Hockey League is very excited to bring the 2013 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game to Atlantic Canada for the first time in the history of this prestigious event," CHL President David Branch said. "This event provides our players the opportunity to showcase their skills before hundreds of NHL scouts in a competitive best-on-best game in advance of the draft."
"The Halifax Mooseheads are very excited to host the 2013 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game," Mooseheads majority owner Bobby Smith said. "We look forward to welcoming 40 of the best NHL draft-eligible players in the CHL to the Halifax Metro Centre next January. Our season-ticket holders and fans will be really interested to watch the top young players from the QMJHL match up with the best prospects from the OHL and the WHL."
Since the Top Prospects Game was introduced in 1996, the game has featured 10 players that were selected with the first pick of an NHL draft -- Chris Phillips, Joe Thornton, Vincent Lecavalier, Rick Nash, Marc-Andre Fleury, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Taylor Hall, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Halifax could become a popular place for scouts next season, as Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon is among the players in the running to be the first player picked in the 2013 NHL Draft.
A native of Dartmouth, N.S., MacKinnon grew up playing in the same Cole Harbour minor-hockey system as Sidney Crosby. MacKinnon was the first player taken in the 2011 QMJHL draft, and this season with Halifax, the 5-foot-11 3/4, 180-pounder leads all first-year QMJHL players with 43 assists and is second with 70 points.
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