2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Rosters Announced

40 top NHL Draft eligible CHL players will compete January 28, 2016, in Vancouver, BC
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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:

Goaltenders:

Evan Fitzpatrick (Sherbrooke Phoenix)

Zach Sawchenko (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Defencemen:

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)

 Forwards:

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:

Goaltenders:

Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)

Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)

Defencemen:

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)

Forwards:

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, autoTRADER.ca and Sherwin-Williams.  The game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

For more information please visit www.bmotopprospects.ca.

BMO and the Canadian Hockey League:
BMO Financial Group and the Canadian Hockey League announced BMO as the Official Bank of the Canadian Hockey League in 2011. The sponsorship builds on BMO’s partnership with the CHL of more than 10 years and affirms BMO’s exclusivity as a financial services sponsor of the league in the retail banking category. It also engrains a presence with the 48 teams which currently participate in the BMO CHL Affinity MasterCard program, which enables CHL fans to support their favourite teams through a co-branded credit card.

Super series

Mid-season OHL’s Draft Eligible Rankings

The mid way point of the Ontario Hockey League season is upon us and it’s time for my mid-season rankings of players eligible for the 2016 National Hockey League Draft.

Jakob Chychrun of the Sarnia Sting. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
1. Jakob Chychrun – Sarnia Sting

 

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 215 pounds

Date of birth: March 31, 1998. Boca Raton, Florida

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 1st overall, 2014 Priority Selection

 

Matthew Tkachuk of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
2. Matthew Tkachuk – London Knights

Height:  6’1”

Weight: 195 pounds

Date of birth: December 11, 1997. St Louis, MO

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 4, 64th overall, 2013 Priority Selection

Nylander, Alexander (1)
3. Alexander Nylander – Mississauga Steelheads

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 172 pounds

Date of birth: March 2, 1998, Södertälje, Sweden

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 12th overall, CHL Import Draft

 

Max Jones of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
4. Max Jones – London Knights

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 200 pounds

Date of birth: February 17, 1998, Orion, MI

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 18th overall, 2014 Priority Selection

Mikhail Sergachev of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
5.Mikhail Sergachev – Windsor Spitfires

Height:  6’2”

Weight: 205 pounds

Date of birth: June 25, 1998. Nizhnekamsk, Russia

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 6th overall, 2015 CHL Import Draft

Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
6. Alex DeBrincat – Erie Otters

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 160 pounds

Date of Birth: December 18, 1997 – Detroit, Michigan

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Undrafted, signed as a free agent.

 

Olli Juolevi of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
7. Olli Juolevi – London Knights

Height:  6’2”

Weight: 185 pounds

Date of birth: May 5, 1998. Helsinki, Finland

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft:  Round 1, 45th overall, CHL Import Draft.

McLeod, Michael (2)
8. Michael McLeod – Mississauga Steelheads

Height:  6’2”

Weight: 187 pounds

Date of birth: February 3, 1998. Mississauga, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 5th overall, 2014 Priority Selection

Brown, Logan (1).JPG
9. Logan Brown – Windsor Spitfires

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 218 pounds

Date of birth: March 5, 1998, Chesterfield, MO

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 6th overall, 2014 Priority Selection

Bastian, Nathan (2).jpg
10. Nathan Bastian – Mississauga Steelheads

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 208 pounds

Date of birth: December 6, 1997. Kitchener, Ontario

Position: Center

Catches: Right

OHL Draft: Round 7, 127th overall, 2013 Priority Selection

All photos courtesy of Terry Wilson/Aaron Bell – OHL Images

Nathan Bastian – Player Profile – Mississauga Steelheads

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 208 pounds

Date of birth: December 6, 1997. Kitchener, Ontario

Position: Center

Catches: Right

OHL Draft: Round 7, 127th overall, 2013 Priority Selection

When your teammates include the likes of Alexander Nylander and Michael McLeod, (not to mention exceptional status player Sean Day) you can be certain that NHL scouts will converge on the Hershey Center in Mississauga Ontario. If your name is Nathan Bastian, you are going to draw attention.

Bastian entered the season on NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary list of players to watch as a B prospect (second or third round pick) and through the first one-third of the Ontario Hockey League season, was moved up to an A prospect (first round prospect) on their November list. And it is merited.

Prior to the OHL draft, Bastian played Midget for the Kitchener Junior Rangers. He appeared in 55 games and scored 22 goals and 25 assists. The following season he split time between the Brantford 99’ers of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (Junior B) and the Steelheads. In 48 games for Brantford, Bastian scored 17 goals and 29 assists. He got the call up to Mississauga and in 19 games scored twice with one assist.

Last season was his first full OHL season and Bastian appeared in all 68 games for the Steelheads notching 17 goals and 12 assists. To date this season, he’s already surpassed his assist high in the OHL and 25 goals and 70 points on the season are not out of reach.

Nathan Bastian of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Nathan Bastian of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

At 6’4” Bastian has very good size and while he’s never been “soft” is using his size more effectively and beginning to play with an edge. His skating and speed are above average which allows him to get on top of defenders, almost always finishing his checks. His smarts, relentless pursuit and anticipation cause opposition turnovers.

Offensively, Bastian has good puck skills. He reads plays very well and has very good vision and excellent playmaking skills. He’s not afraid to drive to the net and is very good at finishing in close. He has a very good shot and is not hesitant to use it. He’s currently at 15.3 shooting percentage. He’s had the opportunity to play with both Nylander and McLeod and has shown he can “keep up”.

Defensively, Bastian does very well. He can play a complete 200 foot game. He gets into passing lanes and has a very active stick – and at 6’4”, you know he has the reach. He will not shy away from getting into the shooting lanes and blocking shots. He’s also been a steady contributor for two seasons on the Steelheads penalty kill.

One area Bastian will need to work on is his faceoffs. Just 23 games into the season he’s 47 for 105, or 44.8%. Not to worry, faceoffs are something that can be improved on. His most improved asset from last season to this season would have to be his skating. It is something he himself was aware of and he worked hard at it, and his work ethic will suggest that he will continue to improve in every aspect.

I believed he had first round potential. Now, everyone else does as well.