DiPietro, Vilardi Named To CHL Top Prospects Roster

(TORONTO, ON) – The Canadian Hockey League, in association with host Quebec Remparts Hockey Club, today announced the 40 players who will compete in the 2017 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Centre Vidéotron in Quebec City on Monday January 30, 2017.

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 22nd annual showcase of the CHL’s top-40 NHL Draft eligible players featuring talent from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Western Hockey League competing before hundreds of NHL scouts in attendance.

“The CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is one of the highlights of the hockey season and a truly special experience for players from across the CHL,” said CHL president David Branch. “Since 1996 this event has annually featured the next wave of NHL talent showcasing their skills before hundreds of NHL scouts and General Managers.  We look forward to January 30 with 40 of the top CHL players eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft competing before the passionate hockey fans in Quebec City and to CHL fans across Canada watching live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.”

The rosters include all 17 CHL players who received ‘A’ ratings by NHL Central Scouting in their November Players to Watch list including Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings, Maxime Comtois of the Victoriaville Tigres, and Gabriel Vilardi of the Windsor Spitfires who will compete for Team Cherry.

Team Orr includes ‘A’ rated players such as Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads, Matthew Strome of the Hamilton Bulldogs, and Kailer Yamamoto of the Spokane Chiefs, as well as Windsor Spitfires goaltender Mike DiPietro.

“TheCHL/NHL Top Prospects Game provides a unique opportunity for NHL scouts and General Managers to evaluate top CHL talent for the 2017 NHL Draft in a best-on-best competition,” said NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr. “It’s 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.

Team Cherry and Team Orr coaching staffs in addition to captains and alternates will be announced at a later date.

Team Cherry:

Goaltenders:
Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders)
Stuart Skinner (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
Defencemen:
Cal Foote (Kelowna Rockets)
Antoine Crête-Belzile (Blainville Boisbriand-Armada)
Henri Jokiharju (Portland Winterhawks)
Pierre-Olivier Joseph (Charlottetown Islanders)
Artyom Minulin (Swift Current Broncos)
Jarret Tyszka (Seattle Thunderbirds)
Forwards:
Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres)
MacKenzie Entwistle (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Jake Leschyshyn (Regina Pats)
Ivan Lodnia (Erie Otters)
Antoine Morand (Acadie-Bathurst Titan)
Nolan Patrick (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph Storm)
Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting)
Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)
Robert Thomas (London Knights)
Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
Gabriel Vilardi (Windsor Spitfires)

Team Orr:

Goaltenders:
Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

Alex D’Orio (Saint John Sea Dogs)
Defencemen:
Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads)
Jacob Paquette (Kingston Frontenacs)
Markus Phillips (Owen Sound Attack)
Eemeli Rasanen (Kingston Frontenacs)
Conor Timmins (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Juuso Valimaki (Tri-City Americans)
Forwards:
Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 67’s)
Alex Formenton (London Knights)
Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Cody Glass (Portland Winterhawks)
Nico Hischier (Halifax Mooseheads)
Kole Lind (Kelowna Rockets)
Stelio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Nikita Popugaev (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Michael Rasmussen (Tri-City Americans)
Nate Schnarr (Guelph Storm)
Matthew Strome (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs)

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Ian Shalapata

Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States.
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