Windsor Spitfires to Host 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

By League Press Release

Windsor, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Ontario Hockey League, the Windsor Spitfires Hockey Club, and Home Hardware Stores Limited, today announced that the Windsor Spitfires will host the 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday January 20, 2010.  The announcement was made at a press conference at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, ON.

“On behalf of the Canadian Hockey League I am pleased to announce that the 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will be hosted in the city of Windsor by the Windsor Spitfires Hockey Club” said CHL President David Branch.  “It is only fitting that a world class facility like the WFCU Centre hosts the best NHL draft eligible players in the world as they showcase their skills before NHL Scouts and fans in attendance and before a national television audience.”

The 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will be the 15th annual showcase of the top-40 NHL draft eligible players from across the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.  The two-day event also features an exciting skills competition taking place on Tuesday January 19, 2010. 

“The Windsor Spitfires are proud to have been selected as the host destination for the 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Windsor at the state-of-art, world class WFCU Centre” said Spitfires President and Head Coach Bob Boughner.  “We are excited to provide our fans with the opportunity to enjoy some of the world’s best junior aged hockey talent here in the great City of Windsor and the Spitfire organization looks forward to hosting yet another major CHL event.”

Spitfires’ Defenceman Ryan Ellis played in the game last season in Oshawa, ON.  Ellis contributed an assist for Team Orr in the 6-1 win over Team Cherry before his 11th overall selection by the Nashville Predators in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.  Forward Greg Nemisz also participated in the 2008 event in Edmonton, AB, alongside teammate and ninth overall selection Josh Bailey, now playing with the New York Islanders.    Nemisz was later selected 25th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames, and recorded an assist representing Team Fuhr/Anderson as part of an 8-4 win over Team McDonald/Vernon.  In 2000, Steve Ott of the Spitfires was named Game MVP for Team Cherry in a 6-3 loss to Team Orr, recording two assists.  He would later be selected 25th overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.

Home Hardware, a title sponsor since 2000, continues as the title partner of the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game this season, following a recent three-year corporate partnership extension with the CHL.

“On behalf of more than 1,000 Canadian Home Hardware Dealers, we are proud to support the 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game,” says Rob Wallace, Public Relations & Promotional Events Manager for Home Hardware Stores Limited.  The 2010 event in Windsor will mark our eleventh straight year as title partner of this exciting event, and every year we are thrilled to help showcase the CHL’s top draft eligible players for fans across Canada to watch as these young athletes prepare themselves for the NHL.”  

Many NHL stars have participated in the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game over the years including eight first overall selections such as Chris Phillips, Joe Thornton, Vincent Lecavalier, Rick Nash, Marc-Andre Fleury, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, and most recently John Tavares, selected first overall by the New York Islanders in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

"It was an honour to participate in the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects game last year" said Tavares, who recorded one assist in the contest.  "Being Captain of a team coached by the legendary Bobby Orr will be an experience I will never forget."

In addition to Tavares, 15 other players from the 2009 event were selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft such as third overall pick Matt Duchene, and fourth overall pick Evander Kane, all three of whom have started the 2009-10 season in the NHL.

“The Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is a highly anticipated annual showcase for National Hockey League scouts,” said E.J McGuire, Director of NHL Central Scouting.  “This is the only event of its kind that assembles the best NHL draft eligible players from across Canadian Major Junior Hockey for on ice competition.  The City of Windsor and the WFCU Centre can expect more than one hundred NHL scouts in attendance representing all 30 NHL teams with a highly skilled and intense contest on the ice.”

Associate sponsors for the event include the Bank of Montreal, Subway, and CCM.  The game will be broadcast nationally by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS.