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NHL Network to air Top Prospects Game

NHL.com @NHL
NEW YORK -- Hockey fans in the United States will get a glimpse at many of the players who will be selected early on in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft when NHL Network U.S.™ broadcasts the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on tape delay on Thursday, January 20, at 2:00 p.m. ET. Rogers Sportsnet and RDS will air the game live in Canada from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Wednesday.

The 20-man rosters for the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game were chosen by NHL General Managers and the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau and include 18 players from the Ontario Hockey League, 13 from the Western Hockey League, and nine from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The game comes just nine days after NHL Central Scouting's release of its mid-season rankings.

22 of the top-ranked 30 skaters will participate in the game including eight of the top 10. Among them are No. 2-ranked C Sean Couturier of the Drummondville Voltigeurs, No. 3 C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels and No. 4 C Jonathan Huberdeau of the Saint John Sea Dogs. Number-one ranked LW Gabriel Landeskog of the Kitchener Rangers will not participate in the game due to injury.

There are five U.S.-trained players that have been selected to play in the game -- Brandon Saad of the Saginaw Spirit from Gibsonia, PA, the eighth-ranked North American skater; Shane Prince, Ottawa 67s (ranked 35th from Rochester, NY); Colin Jacobs, Seattle Thunderbirds (ranked 40th from Coppell, TX), Vincent Trochek, Saginaw Spirit (ranked 42nd from Pittsburgh, PA) and Shane McColgan, Kelowna Rockets (ranked 102nd from Torrance, CA).

The game also features players from nine countries outside of North America. No. 2 goalie Christopher Gibson (Finland), No. 8 goalie David Honzik (Czech Republic), No. 24 Tomas Jurco (Slovakia), No. 20 Nicklas Jensen (Denmark), No. 34 Rickard Rakell (Sweden), No. 74 Tobias Rieder (Germany), No. 17 Vladislav Namestnikov (Russia), No. 6 Sven Baertschi (Switzerland), No. 39 Xavier Ouellet (France).

The 2010 event was held in Windsor, ON, and featured all 17 CHL players that were selected in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. That list included current NHL players Tyler Seguin of the Boston Bruins, Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes, Cam Fowler of the Anaheim Ducks, Alexander Burmistrov of the Atlanta Thrashers and Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers, who earned Player of the Game honors before being chosen first overall in June.  In addition to Hall, eight other NHL stars have participated in the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game before being selected first overall -- including Chris Phillips, Joe Thornton, Vincent Lecavalier, Rick Nash, Marc-Andre Fleury, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos and John Tavares.

Full coverage of the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and 2011 NHL Entry Draft can be found on NHL.com.

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