It'll be a busy next few weeks for John Tavares
and Ryan Ellis
The only two 2009 Entry Draft-eligible players to make Canada's entry into this year's World Junior Championship are two of the top 40 Draft-eligible players selected for the 2009 Home Hardware CHL-NHL Top Prospects Game, to be held Jan. 13-14 in Oshawa, Ont.
The players are drawn from the three CHL leagues -- the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League -- with the rosters assembled by the 30 NHL general managers and NHL Central Scouting.
The two-day event features a skills competition Jan. 13, and then a game between the best of the best on Jan. 14. The game will be televised in the U.S. by NHL Network, and in Canada by Rogers Sports Net.
Coaching the teams will be famed hockey analyst Don Cherry
and Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Orr
Tavares, besides being a favorite for the top pick in June and Central Scouting's top-rated OHL player, skates for the host Oshawa Generals. He currently is tied for the OHL lead with 25 goals, and is second with 52 points.
Tavares' teammate Generals teammate Calvin de Haan
also will skate with him at the Top Prospects Game. De Haan, ranked fifth among OHL skaters in Central Scouting's preliminary rankings, leads the league's rookies with 31 assists, and he's tied for the lead among first-year players with 35 points.
Ellis, a defenseman with the OHL's Windsor Spitfires, is fourth in the league and first among blueliners with 15 goals and 48 points.
The OHL's Guelph Storm will have three players at the event -- forwards Peter Holland
, Michael Latta
and Taylor Beck
-- the most of any CHL team.
Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman Simon Despres
, the top-rated QMJHL skater, was invited, as were a pair of players from the Shawinigan Cataractes, forward Philippe Paradis
and defenseman Charles-Olivier Roussel
Defenseman Jared Cowen
, the top-rated WHL skater, is one of two players from the defending Memorial Cup champion Spokane Chiefs invited to the game. Joining him will be forward Levko Koper
, who has 31 points and a plus-13 rating in 34 games.
The Brandon Wheat Kings (forwards Braydon Schenn and Scott Glennie
), Red Deer Rebels (defenseman Tommi Kivisto
and forward Landon Ferraro
), the Kootenay Ice (goaltender Nathan Lieuwen and defenseman Brayden McNabb
) and the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs (forward Ethan Werek
and defenseman Taylor Doherty
) were the only CHL teams to send more than one player.
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com.