Red Deer Rebels centre Oleg Zaystev will take centre stage in front of the home crowd next month.
The 17-year-old Russian forward was the lone Rebels representative selected to play in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Jan. 23 at the Centrium.
Zaytsev was one of 11 WHL players and 40 total picked to play in the 24th annual showcase that displays the top prospects eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.
“The Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game provides scouts and general managers the unique opportunity to evaluate talent competing in a best-on-best showcase,” said Dan Marr, NHL Central Scouting Director in a WHL press release.
“All 31 NHL clubs contributed to the roster selection and have a great interest in this priority scouting event to see which players can elevate their game under the spotlight.”
With 22 points (5G, 17A) in 29 games, Zaytsev is currently seventh in WHL rookie scoring. In November, he was rated a “B-Prospect” on the NHL Central Scouting Players to watch list.
The 40 players will be divided into Team Cherry and Team Orr by NHL Central Scouting prior to the event. Coaching staffs for both teams will also be announced at a later date.
A total of 317 CHL players from this event have been chosen by NHL clubs in the first round of the NHL Draft, representing over 45 per cent of all players selected.
\Since the game was first introduced in 1996, it has featured 14 players selected with the first overall pick in the NHL Draft including Nico Hischier, 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.