Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Top Prospects coming to Ann Arbor

The North American Hockey League has announced that its second Top Prospects Tournament of the season, sponsored by SBK Hockey, will be held from Feb. 20-22 at the Ice Cube in Ann Arbor.

At the event, four teams - Team Central, Team North, Team South and Team West - will play a three-game round robin.

All NAHL players are eligible to participate, regardless if they’re committed or un-committed to a Division I school or participated in the NAHL’s first Top Prospects Tournament of the season, which was held from Dec. 5-7 in Walpole, Mass.

Each team will consist of a 20-man roster, with minor player crossover amongst the four teams. In the three six-team divisions - Central, South and West - four players will represent the first- and second-place teams as of Jan. 17 (highest winning percentage); three will represent the third- and fourth-place teams; and two for the fifth- and sixth-place teams.

In the eight-team North Division, four players will represent the first- and second-place teams as of Jan. 17; three will represent the third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place teams; and two will represent the seventh- and eighth-place teams. The two NAHL teams with the highest winning percentages as of Jan. 17 will be allowed to send one additional player to the event. The rosters, which will be chosen by the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament Selection Committee, will be announced on Monday, Jan. 24.

The head coach of the team with the highest winning percentage in each division as of Jan. 17 will serve as the head coach of the Top Prospects team representing that division. The head coach with the second-highest winning percentage will serve as the team’s assistant coach.

In conjunction with the Top Prospects Tournament, all North American Prospects Hockey League teams - Midget Major, Midget Minor and Bantam Major - will compete in the Championship Tournament Series for the right to be crowned league champions. That event will run from Feb. 18-21 at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, with the three division championship games being played at the Ice Cube.

The North American 3 Hockey League will also have representation at the Top Prospects Tournament, as two NA3HL all-star teams will compete against each other at the event. The NA3HL will also extend invitations to other USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III Junior A leagues to participate with all-stars teams.

At the NAHL’s first Top Prospects Tournament of the season, four teams comprised of the NAHL’s top committed and un-committed college players, including those recognized on the NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s Players to Watch list for 2011 draft-eligibles, played a three-game round robin.

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