Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with Sherwin-Williams today announced the captains and alternate captains for the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game which takes place on Thursday January 25 hosted by the Guelph Storm.
Ty Smith of the Spokane Chiefs and Joe Veleno of the Drummondville Voltigeurs have both been named captains for the 23rd annual showcase of the CHL’s top-40 NHL Draft eligible players as selected by NHL teams. Smith will lead Team Orr along with alternate captains Jared McIsaac of the Halifax Mooseheads and Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts. Veleno will lead Team Cherry with alternates Evan Bouchard of the London Knights, and Ryan Merkley of the Storm.
“It’s an honour to be selected to be the captain of Team Orr,” Smith said. “I’ve watched the Top Prospects Game on TV for years now and have watched friends and teammates participate. It was a goal of mine at the beginning of the season to make the roster and to be named captain makes it all that much more special. I’m looking forward to competing against and with many of my buddies from across the CHL as well as meeting some new players.”
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound 17-year-old blueliner from Lloydminster, Alta., is playing in his second full season with the Chiefs after being selected by the club first overall in the 2015 Western hockey League Bantam Draft. The defenceman has already established career-highs in all offensive categories this season with 43 points (6G-37A) 44 games. Overall, Smith has recorded 77 points (11G-66A) in 112 WHL regular season games.
Internationally, Smith captained Team Canada to a silver medal finish at the 2016 Youth Winter Olympic Games, and also served as captain for Team Canada Black at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, earning a silver medal and tournament all-star honours. Most recently he was an alternate captain at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial helping Canada capture gold.
In November, Smith was listed as one of 38 ‘Players to Watch’ by NHL Central Scouting, named as one of four players to earn a ‘A’ rating. Over the past 22 years, 13 Chiefs and eight Voltigeurs have competed in this event. Smith is the first from his club to be named captain, while Veleno follows Sean Couturier who captained Team Cherry at the 2011 event in Toronto.
Since 2010, Team Cherry captains have included Nolan Patrick, Jakob Chychrun, Anthony Beauvillier, Sam Reinhart, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan Murray, Sean Couturier, and Taylor Hall, while recent Team Orr captains include Nico Hischier, Matthew Tkachuk, Connor McDavid, Aaron Ekblad, Seth Jones, Colton Sissons, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Tyler Seguin.
The WHL has had 114 first-round NHL draft picks play in the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game while an additional 79 have been second-round draft selections.
WHL players have played an integral part of the leadership at previous editions of the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. WHL Alumni Chris Phillips and Josh Green served as the captains for the first-ever edition of the event in 1996. Since then a total of 20 WHL Alumni, including Smith, have served as captains of either Team Cherry or Team Orr at the event.
Click here to see full Team Cherry and Team Orr rosters for the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
The 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is proudly supported by title partner Sherwin-Williams, and CHL associate sponsors CIBC and Cooper Tires. The game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
Tickets are still available through the box office at 1-519-837-9690 or visit Ticketmaster to purchase online.
For more information please visit http://sherwin-williamstopprospects.ca.
For 150 years, Sherwin-Williams has been an industry leader in the development of technologically advanced paint and coatings. As North America’s largest specialty retailer of paint and painting supplies, Sherwin-Williams is dedicated to supporting both do-it-yourselfers and painting professionals with exceptional and exclusive products, resources to make confident colour selections and expert, personalized service at its more than 4,000 neighbourhood stores. For more information, visit sherwin-williams.ca. Join Sherwin-Williams on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and Tumblr.
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.