Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hawks History at CHL Top Prospects Game

Chase De Leo was the 20th Portland Winterhawk to play in the CHL Top Prospect Game last night. He notched 4 shots on goal in Team Cherry's 4-3 loss at the hands of Team Orr. Hopefully for Chase, he impressed the many NHL scouts in attendance enough to improve on his ranking of 26th among North American skaters, put out by ISS this week for the 2014 NHL draft.

The game which selects the top 40 players from the WHL, the OHL and the QMJHL, has taken place, in it's current format since 1996. Since that time, Portland's 20 players selected places them 3rd overall in the WHL. Calgary is tops with 26 players selected and Red Deer is 2nd with 23 players. Portland, though, leads the way recently with 13 players having played in just the last 5 years.

Here is the list of the 20 players whom have proudly represented the Winterhawks:
-2014- Chase De Leo.
-2013 (Captain) Seth Jones, Nic Petan, Oliver Bjorkstrand.
-2012- Derrick Pouliot.
-2011- Sven Bartschi, Joe Morrow, Tyler Wotherspoon, (Assistant Captain) Ty Rattie.
-2010- Brad Ross, Ryan Johansen, Nino Niederreiter, Troy Rutkowski.
-2005- Brendan Mikkelson.
-2004- Michael Funk.
-2003- Braydon Coburn.
-2002- Jakub Klepis.
-2000- Marcel Hossa.
-1998- Jason Labarbera.
-1997- Brenden Morrow.

Sven Bartschi had the best showing in the game by a Winterhawk when he potted 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist) for Team Orr in their 7-1 win in 2011.

Two other Winterhawks have scored in the game's history (Petan and Mikkelson), while 12 of the 19 skaters have notched at least 1 point.

Jason Labarbera is still the only Winterhawk goalie to be selected in the game and he stopped all 8 shots he faced back in 1998. He would go on to release his own how to video and of course have a long NHL career.

Impressing the scouts is the main goal of the players selected  to the game and most of the Winterhawks did just that as 10 of the 19 players whom have played in the game were taken in the first round. The lowest drafted Winterhawk, that played in the CHL top prospect game was Troy Rutkowski, who was taken in the 5th round (137th overall) by Colorado in 2010. The highest drafted Winterhawk, not to have been selected for the game was Mike Sauer in 2005, who was taken 40th overall by the New York Rangers. 45 Winterhawks, overall, have been selected in the NHL draft since 2006.

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