The best young hockey players from across the country will hit the ice at the Aud in February as the CHL has chosen the Kitchener Rangers to host the 2022 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
“The Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is one of our most anticipated national events,” CHL president Dan MacKenzie stated.
“Working in partnership with the National Hockey League, we look forward to showcasing the stars of tomorrow for our fans in Kitchener, who are among the most passionate fans in the CHL.”
The game is meant as a showcase for the top NHL draft-eligible talent playing in the country’s three major junior hockey leagues.
The CHL says hundreds of NHL scouts are expected to be in attendance when the game is played on Feb. 2, 2022.
This will be the third time that Kitchener has hosted the event and the first time since 2003.
There have been 24 Rangers who have played in the annual event, which has been held in various forms since 1996.
The most recent Ranger to suit up was defenceman Donovan Sebrango, who played in 2020 before being picked by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2020 NHL draft.
Since 1996, 15 players who suited up for the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game have been selected No. 1 overall, including Alexis Lafreniere (2020), Nico Hischier (2017), Connor McDavid (2015), Aaron Ekblad (2014), Nathan MacKinnon (2013), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011), Taylor Hall (2010), John Tavares (2009), Steven Stamkos (2008), Patrick Kane (2007), Marc-Andre Fleury (2003), Rick Nash (2002), Vincent Lecavalier (1998), Joe Thornton (1997) and Chris Phillips (1996).
Kingston centre Shane Wright is currently the favourite to be selected with the top pick in 2022, according to NHL Central Scouting.
It remains to be seen if he will be in the game as rosters and coaching staffs will be announced at a later date.
Tickets for the game will go on sale on Dec. 1.
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