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Murray, Sissons named Top Prospects captains

by Adam Kimelman
Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray, No. 3 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the best North American skaters eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft, has been named captain of Team Cherry for the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

TEAM ORR (Coach Pat Quinn)

GOALIES -- **Chris Driedger, Calgary Flames, WHL; *Malcolm Subban, Belleville Bulls, OHL; Francois Tremblay, Val d’Or Foreurs, QMJHL

DEFENSEMEN -- Gianluca Curcuruto, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, OHL; Matthew Finn, Guelph Storm, OHL; Olli Maatta, London Knights, OHL; Adam Pelech, Erie Otters, OHL; Derrick Pouliot, Portland Winterhawks, WHL; Griffin Reinhart, Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL

FORWARDS -- Andreas Athanasiou, London Knights, OHL; Francis Beauvillier, Rimouski Oceanic, QMJHL; Raphael Bussieres, Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL; Radek Faksa, Kitchener Rangers, OHL; Mikhail Grigorenko, Quebec Remparts, QMJHL; Tomas Hyka, Gatineau Olympiques, QMJHL; Scott Kosmachuk, Guelph Storm, OHL; *Matia Marcantuoni, Kitchener Rangers, OHL; **Branden Troock, Seattle Thunderbirds, WHL; Tanner Pearson, Barrie Colts, OHL; Colton Sissons, Kelowna Rockets, WHL; Chandler Stephenson, Regina Pats, WHL; Lukas Sutter, Saskatoon Blades, WHL

* - Injured and won't compete
** - Injury replacement
Kelowna Rockets forward Colton Sissons, No. 14 on Central Scouting's list, will serve as captain for Team Orr.

Forty of the best draft-eligible players will face off at Prospera Place in Kelowna, B.C., for the Top Prospects Game, which will be held Jan. 31 to Feb. 1.

Murray, the highest-rated Western Hockey League player on Central Scouting's rankings, also serves as captain of the Silvertips. He has 7 goals and 12 assists in 23 games, and was one of two draft-eligible players to skate for Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Belleville Bulls forward Brendan Gaunce and Halifax Mooseheads forward Martin Frk were named as alternate captains for Team Cherry.

Sissons, the Central Scouting's top-rated WHL forward, also is captain of the Rockets. He has a team-leading 25 goals in 49 games this season.

Quebec Remparts forward Mikhail Grigorenko and Barrie Colts forward Tanner Pearson were named alternate captains for Team Orr.

Also, Belleville Bulls goaltender Malcolm Subban, Central Scouting's top-rated North American goalie, has withdrawn from the game because of injury. He has been replaced on the roster by Calgary Hitmen goaltender Chris Driedger. Driedger is No. 12 on Central Scouting's list. In 27 games this season, Driedger is 13-7-3 with a 2.86 goals-against average and .894 save percentage.

TEAM CHERRY (Coach Mark Recchi)

GOALIES -- Matthew Murray, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, OHL; Brandon Whitney, Victoriaville Tigres, QMJHL

DEFENSEMEN -- Cody Ceci, Ottawa 67's, OHL; Mathew Dumba, Red Deer Rebels, WHL; Nick Ebert, Windsor Spitfires, OHL; *Slater Koekkoek, Peterborough Petes, OHL; **Brett Kulak, Vancouver Giants, WHL; Ryan Murray, Everett Silvertips, WHL; Damon Severson, Kelowna Rockets, WHL

FORWARDS -- **Tim Bozon, Kamloops Blazers, WHL; Martin Frk, Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL; Brendan Gaunce, Belleville Bulls, OHL; Coda Gordon, Swift Current Broncos, WHL; Charles Hudon, Chicoutimi Sagueneens, QMJHL; Scott Laughton, Oshawa Generals, OHL; *Jarrod Maidens, Owen Sound Attack, OHL; Andrew Ryan, Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL; Gemel Smith, Owen Sound Attack, OHL; Dominik Volek, Regina Pats, WHL; Thomas Wilson, Plymouth Whalers, OHL; **Mike Winther, Prince Albert Raiders, WHL; *Nail Yakupov, Sarnia Sting, OHL; Daniil Zharkov, Belleville Bulls, OHL

* - Injured and won't compete
** - Injury replacement
The rosters for the Top Prospects Game are chosen in a poll of the 30 NHL clubs and coordinated by NHL Central Scouting.

The prospects will take part in a skills competition on Jan. 31 and the Top Prospects Game on Feb. 1.

The game features eight of the top 11 skaters on Central Scouting's midterm rankings -- Grigorenko (No. 2), Murray (No. 3), Kitchener Rangers forward Radek Faksa (No. 4), London Knights defenseman Olli Maatta (No. 6), Red Deer Rebels defenseman Mathew Dumba (No. 7), Edmonton Oil Kings defenseman Griffin Reinhart (No. 8), Portland Winter Hawks defenseman Derrick Pouliot (No. 10), and Gaunce (No. 11).

Subban isn't the only top player to miss the game due to injury. The No. 1-ranked skater, Sarnia Sting center Nail Yakupov, will not play because of a knee injury that happened while playing for Russia at the World Junior Championship. Also missing because of injury are Sarnia center Alex Galchenyuk, who has missed all season with a knee injury but was ranked No. 2 among OHL skaters in Central Scouting's preliminary rankings; Moose Jaw Warriors defenseman Morgan Rielly, who is No. 5 on Central Scouting's midterm rankings but out for the season with a knee injury; Peterborough Petes defenseman Slater Koekkoek, No. 17 on the midterm rankings but who is out for the season with a shoulder injury; Owen Sound forward Jarrod Maidens because of a concussion (No. 21) and Kitchener Rangers forward Matia Marcantuoni, who has an upper-body injury (No. 42).

Pat Quinn will coach Team Orr, with Vancouver Giants coach Don Hay assisting him. Team Cherry will be led by Mark Recchi, with Kelowna Rockets coach Ryan Huska assisting him.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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