CHL/NHL Top Prospects game coming to Red Deer in 2019

The sports calendar is filling up quickly for Red Deer in 2019.

Another big event was added to the docket Thursday when the WHL and CHL announced the Centrium would be home to the 2019 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

The showcase typically features the top 40 NHL Draft eligible players from across the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL.

“The Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game brings the best in class for the upcoming NHL Draft to our community, and we know our fans will appreciate the level of hockey that is presented,” said Rebels Owner/President/GM/head coach Brent Sutter.

“Combined with the U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, Canada Winter Games, and the WHL Bantam Draft and Awards, our region looks to be a hub of hockey over the next year.”

It’s the first time in the club’s history that they’ve hosted the event, but the fifth time in 24 years it will be held in Alberta.

Rebels season ticket holders will have guaranteed access to the event, with a ticket for the game included in the season package. Members will also receive access to an advance pre-sale for additional tickets before the general public. Further ticket details will be unveiled this fall.

Over the years, the Rebels have had 24 players suit up in the event, 12 of which went on to be first round selections in the NHL Entry Draft. Former Rebel Ryan Nugent-Hopkins headlined the list when he was captain in 2011. Most recently, Haydn Fleury (Carolina 2014) and Conner Bleackley (Colorado 2014) played in the event. Current Rebels defenceman Alex Alexeyev was supposed to play in the event but missed out due to the passing of his mother.

Other notable alumni of the game included Lance Ward (New Jersey 1996), Jesse Wallin (Detroit 1996), Mike Brown (Florida 1997), Colby Armstrong (Pittsburgh 2001), Jeff Woywitka (Philadelphia 2001), Boyd Gordon (Washington 2002), Dion Phaneuf (Calgary 2003), Brandon Sutter (Carolina 2007), and Mathew Dumba (Minnesota 2012).

In the 2018 event, 25 of the top-62 ranked North American skaters eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft competed on Jan. 25 in Guelph with Team Cherry emerging victorious over Team Orr by a 7-4.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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