TORONTO, Monday, March 26, 2007 – In September 2008, once again the Western Hockey League will return to Edmonton, giving hockey fans a glimpse at the future of the NHL. However, six months before the Edmonton Oil Kings first puck drop, the franchise has already scored a major victory with the announcement that the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will be held at Rexall Place in January of 2008.
The 2008 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is the annual showcase of the top draft eligible players from the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and features the next wave of future NHL stars from across the Canadian Hockey League. The two-day event will feature the annual Top Prospects game, as well as a thrilling skills competition where players can show-off their individual abilities for fans and scouts alike.
"The Canadian Hockey League is extremely pleased to award the 2008 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game to Edmonton. The Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is one of our showcase events and to be able to host this game in the City of Champions in front of the newest group of CHL fans is truly special," said CHL President, David Branch.
"The Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game allows the top draft eligible players in the CHL to showcase their skills and talents in front of the management and scouting staffs of every NHL team. This event is something that our players strive for the opportunity to compete in and as a result the game itself is a showcase of some of the most dedicated and driven young men our league has to offer. We are very thankful to have the tremendous support from the NHL, along with Home Hardware and our many other sponsors who make this a great event," added Branch.
"The Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is not your typical All-Star game, as these players are all competing to improve their NHL Draft Position," said Nick Wilson, Vice President of Business Operations for the Edmonton Oil Kings. "Given the magnitude of this event in the hockey world, and the support of hockey fans throughout northern Alberta, there will be a great demand for tickets."
Home Hardware, a title sponsor since 2000, continues as the title partner of the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game this year.
"On behalf of more than 1,000 Home Hardware Dealers across the country, we are very excited to see the 2008 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game headed to Edmonton," says Bruce Shuh, Director of Marketing for Home Hardware Stores Limited. "The return of major junior hockey is great for the city and we are pleased that they have been chosen to host this special event during their inaugural season."
The long list of NHL stars that have participated in the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game includes Dion Phaneuf, Roberto Luongo, Patrick Marleau, Gilbert Brule, Scott Gomez, and Marc-Andre Fleury. Edmonton Oilers Joffrey Lupul, Marc Antoine Pouliot, and J.F Jacques also played in the game.
"The Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is one of the premiere events for the National Hockey League scouts to see all the top level NHL Draft eligible players in Major Junior Hockey," said NHL Central Scouting’s E.J. McGuire. "This is a great opportunity and a much anticipated showcase for all the scouting staffs across the National Hockey League to see these players in the same environment," added McGuire.
|Source:||Canadian Hockey League|