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by Hockey Manitoba  |  January 7, 2016 3:06 pm

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the host Vancouver Giants Hockey Club, and title partner BMO Financial Group, today announced the 40 players that will compete in the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Vancouver, BC, on Thursday January 28, 2016.

The 40 CHL players competing in the game were chosen by all 30 NHL clubs and divided into teams by NHL Central Scouting.  This season’s event marks the 21st annual showcase of the CHL’s top-40 NHL Draft eligible players featuring talent from the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League competing before hundreds of NHL scouts in attendance.

“The BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is one of the highlights of the hockey season,” said CHL President David Branch. “Since 1996 the CHL’s top prospects have showcased their skills in this event providing NHL scouts, General Managers, and fans the opportunity to catch the next wave of NHL talent which in recent years has featured first overall picks Connor McDavid, Aaron Ekblad, Nathan MacKinnon, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. We look forward to January 28 with coaches Don Cherry and Bobby Orr, and 40 of the top CHL players eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft competing before the passionate hockey fans in Vancouver and to CHL fans across Canada watching live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.”

The Giants’ Tyler Benson and Port Moody, BC, native Lucas Johansen of the Kelowna Rockets are among the 20 players to suit up for Team Cherry along with Canadian National Junior Team member Julien Gauthier of the Val-d’Or Foreurs, and OHL top goal scorer Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters who won World Junior bronze with the United States.  Team Orr features World Junior gold medalist Olli Juolevi of the London Knights, fellow Knight and World Junior bronze medalist Matthew Tkachuk, Canadian National Junior Team Selection Camp invite Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, and Alexander Nylander of the Mississauga Steelheads who led Sweden in World Junior scoring.

“We are thrilled for the up-and-coming talent chosen for this year’s BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game,” said Michael Bonner, Senior Vice President, BC and Yukon Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. “As the Official Bank of the CHL, we’re proud to sponsor an event that allows Canadians to watch some of the top young athletes across the country, and we’re excited to bring them to Vancouver later this month.”

25 of the CHL’s 60 member clubs are represented on the rosters.  The 40 competing players include 20 from the OHL, 12 from the WHL, and eight from the QMJHL.  13 CHL Players who competed in the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in St. Catharines, ON, were selected in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.  In 20 years, 278 CHL players from this event have been chosen by NHL clubs in the first round of the NHL Draft representing 47% of all players selected.

“The BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game provides a unique opportunity for NHL scouts and General Managers to evaluate top CHL talent for the 2016 NHL Draft in a best-on-best competition,” said NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr. “The game is also a unique opportunity for the players to take advantage of the spotlight in what is consistently an exciting and highly competitive showcase.”

Since the event was first introduced in 1996 the game has featured 13 players selected with the first overall pick in the NHL Draft including Connor McDavid, Aaron Ekblad, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, John Tavares, Steven Stamkos, Patrick Kane, Marc-Andre Fleury, Rick Nash, Vincent Lecavalier, Joe Thornton, and Chris Phillips.

2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Rosters:

Team Cherry:

Evan Fitzpatrick (Sherbrooke Phoenix)
Zach Sawchenko (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Jakob Chychrun (Sarnia Sting)
Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Sean Day (Mississauga Steelheads)
Samuel Girard (Shawinigan Cataractes)
Lucas Johansen (Kelowna Rockets)
Markus Niemelainen (Saginaw Spirit)

Vitalii Abramov (Gatineau Olympiques)
Tyler Benson (Vancouver Giants)
Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)
Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Dillon Dube (Kelowna Rockets)
Julien Gauthier (Val-d’Or Foreurs)
Tim Gettinger (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Noah Gregor (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Max Jones (London Knights)
Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)
Sam Steel (Regina Pats)

Team Orr:

Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)
Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)

Jake Bean (Calgary Hitmen)
Luke Green (Saint John Sea Dogs)
Libor Hajek (Saskatoon Blades)
Olli Juolevi (London Knights)
Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor Spitfires)
Logan Stanley (Windsor Spitfires)

Nathan Bastian (Mississauga Steelheads)
Will Bitten (Flint Firebirds)
Pierre-Luc Dubois (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)
Brett Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Jack Kopacka (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Pascal Laberge (Victoriaville Tigres)
Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads)
Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)
Otto Somppi (Halifax Mooseheads)
Simon Stransky (Prince Albert Raiders)
Matthew Tkachuk (London Knights)

The 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is proudly supported by title partner BMO Bank of Montreal, and CHL associate sponsors Cooper Tire, and Sherwin-Williams.  The game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

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