Kyle Connor of the Youngstown Phantoms and teammates Brock Boeser and Thomas Novak of the Waterloo Black Hawks, highlight a list of 40 prospects invited to compete in the 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at the Mystique Community Ice Center in Dubuque, Iowa, on Jan. 13.
The roster announcement was made Tuesday by the United States Hockey League in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting. Connor, Boeser and Novak are regarded as A-rated skaters on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list and potential first-round picks at the 2015 NHL Draft.
Boeser, a 6-foot, 192-pound right wing, is tied for fourth in the USHL with 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists) in 23 games. Connor, a 6-1, 182-pound left wing/center, is tied for seventh with 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists). Novak, a 6-foot, 180-pound center, is third on the Black Hawks with 19 points (three goals, 16 assists).
"We congratulate these young players on being selected for this prestigious event as they represent an exceptional talent pool that is being developed by USHL clubs," USHL Commissioner Bob Fallen said. "By being selected for the event they have already captured the attention of NHL scouts, and this game provides them another opportunity to be evaluated very closely by decision-makers from every NHL team. Their performances in Dubuque could certainly impact when and if their names are called in June at the 2015 NHL Draft."
All 40 players chosen are eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, including 30 players in their first year of eligibility.
"The USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game provides a unique opportunity for the management and scouts of the 30 NHL teams to view the top USHL talent available for the 2015 NHL Draft," Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said. "The prospects are encouraged to showcase their skills and abilities amongst their peers in this competitive and entertaining environment that brings out their best."
The 40 players have been split into two 20-man teams, Team East and Team West.
2015 USHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME ROSTERS
GOALTENDERS: Chris Birdsall, Youngstown; Ben Blacker, Cedar Rapids
DEFENSEMEN: Tory Dello, Tri-City; Bryce Hatten, Cedar Rapids; Wyatt Kalynuk, Lincoln; Joe Masonius, USA U-18; Ethan Spaxman, Waterloo; Ryan Zuhlsdorf, Sioux City
FORWARDS: Brock Boeser, Waterloo; Robert Carpenter, Sioux City; Mikey Eyssimont, Fargo; Michael Floodstrand, USA U-18; Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Omaha; Matthew Freytag, Tri-City; Jake Henderson, Omaha; Cooper Marody, Sioux Falls; Thomas Novak, Waterloo; Nikita Pavlychev, Des Moines; Denis Smirnov, Fargo; Chris Wilkie, Tri-City
GOALTENDERS: Ryan Larkin, Cedar Rapids; Eric Schierhorn, Muskegon
DEFENSEMEN: Joe Cecconi, Muskegon; Dennis Gilbert, Chicago; Blake Hillman, Dubuque; Kris Myllari, Youngstown; Vili Saarijarvi, Green Bay; Christian Wolanin, Muskegon
FORWARDS: Mason Bergh, Chicago; Kyle Connor, Youngstown; Erik Foley, Cedar Rapids; Jiri Fronk, Cedar Rapids; Dylan Gambrell, Dubuque; Brent Gates, Jr., Green Bay; Adam Gaudette, Cedar Rapids; Robby Jackson, Chicago; Tanner Laczynski, Chicago; Seamus Malone, Dubuque; Sam Miletic, Green Bay; Chase Pearson, Youngstown