The United States Hockey League announced today that the Sioux Falls Stampede will host the 2017 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Tuesday, January 10th at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
The two-day event will begin on Monday, January 9th with a luncheon featuring a keynote speaker followed by meet and greet opportunities later that evening. For NHL scouts, Monday will also feature on-ice and off-ice testing conducted by HockeyTech and NHL Central Scouting. Tuesday will feature a skills competition leading up to the main event later that evening. In addition, the Stampede plan to host a Fan Fest leading up to the game as well as a banquet with the players.
“There is a lot of buzz surrounding the USHL’s NHL Draft class of 2017 and we believe that the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, the crown jewel of American junior hockey, along with the city of Sioux Falls, SD and Stampede organization is the best way to display that talent to NHL talent evaluators and fans alike,” said Bob Fallen, USHL president and commissioner. “We invite fans from across the region to join us in Sioux Falls to see future NHL and NCAA elite talent all under one roof.”
2017 marks the third consecutive year the USHL has hosted the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, and fifth year all-time. Both Dubuque Fighting Saints and Omaha Lancers hosted near sellout crowds on the weekday event for the skills competition and game, both of which were featured in a 30-minute special on NHL Network.
A total of seven Sioux Falls Stampede players have played in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game over the past four years including St. Louis Blues forward Justin Selman, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Charlie Lindgren and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Cooper Marody.
“We are thrilled and honored to host this event,” said Stampede CEO/President Tom Garrity. “With our strong fan base, support from corporate partners and the community, the organization looks forward to putting on a great show for everyone. This will be more than just a game, it will be a multi-day event for the great people of Sioux Falls and surrounding areas. We look forward to announcing more details later this summer.”
Prior to this year’s contest, a total of 42 players that have been selected to compete in the previous three USHL/NHL Top Prospects Games have gone on to be chosen in the NHL Draft, including first round selections Kyle Connor (Winnipeg Jets), Brock Boeser (Vancouver Canucks), Mike Matheson (Florida Panthers), Jordan Schmaltz (St. Louis Blues) and Zemgus Girgensons (Buffalo Sabres).
The two-day event will be a part of the Sioux Falls Stampede’s third season in the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center where the Stampede set another USHL attendance record this past season, drawing over 200,000 fans in 30 games for an average of 6,687 fans per-game, ranking amongst the best in college and professional hockey.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16. A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 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.