The United States Hockey League announced today that the Tri-City Storm will host the 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Tuesday, Jan. 9th at the Viaero Center in Kearney, NE.
The two-day event will begin on Monday, Jan. 8th with on-ice testing conducted by HockeyTech, and off-ice measurements conducted by NHL Central Scouting. The announcement comes one week after the USHL had 49 active players listed on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch List, including 19 A or B-rated skaters and goaltenders, indicating a potential first, second or third round NHL Draft prospect. The 49 players listed by NHL Central Scouting were the most by any junior league in the world.
2018 marks the fourth consecutive year the USHL will host the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, and sixth year all-time. Previous hosts of the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game include the Muskegon Lumberjacks (2012 and 2013), Dubuque Fighting Saints (2015), Omaha Lancers (2016) and Sioux Falls Stampede (2017).
13 players who participated last year’s USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game went on to be selected in the 2017 NHL Draft. In total, 76 players who have participated in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game since 2012 have been selected in the NHL Draft, including four first round selections: Shane Bowers (Ottawa Senators, 2017), Kyle Connor (Winnipeg Jets, 2015), Brock Boeser (Vancouver Canucks, 2015) and Jordan Schmaltz (St. Louis Blues, 2012). Other first round selections who were named to the game but were unable to participate due to injury include Eeli Tolvanen (Nashville Predators, 2017), Michael Matheson (Florida Panthers, 2012) and Zemgus Girgensons (Buffalo Sabres, 2012).
Ticket information and other events surrounding the 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will be announced by the Tri-City Storm at a later date.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.