Turn Back The Clock: re-visiting standout WHL performances at the Kubota CHL / NHL Top Prospects Game

The 2023 Kubota CHL / NHL Top Prospects Game is set for Wednesday evening from the Langley Events Centre (7:00 p.m. PT, TSN), marking the first time the event has been held in Western Canada in four years.

18 WHL players are set to strut their stuff in Wednesday’s contest, so in preparation, it’s time to turn back the clock, and revisit some standout performances by WHL talent in years past!

2022 – Kitchener, Ontario
Moose Jaw Warriors forward Jagger Firkus scored a highlight-reel marker in last year’s CHL / NHL Top Prospects Game last March, and for his efforts, the Seattle Kraken prospect was named Player of the Game for Team White. On the other side, Swift Current Broncos netminder Reid Dyck turned aside all 23 shots he faced in 30 minutes of work. White won the contest 3-1.

2019 – Red Deer, Alberta
It’s been four years since the event was held in a WHL market, with the 2019 Top Prospects Game in Red Deer marking the last excursion into the West. Team Orr, behind captain Kirby Dach (Saskatoon Blades) rallied with four goals in the third period to get past Team Cherry 5-4 thanks in part to a goal and an assist from Prince Albert Raiders forward Brett Leason. Kootenay ICE sniper Peyton Krebs was named the Player of the Game for Team Cherry, matching Leason’s output with a goal and a helper.

2016 – Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver Giants forward Ty Ronning had a goal for Team Cherry in the last iteration of the Top Prospects Game to take place in British Columbia, at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum seven years ago. Team Orr, behind defence from Jake Bean (Calgary Hitmen) and Libor Hajek (Saskatoon Blades) skated to a 3-2 victory, with Everett Silvertips netminder Carter Hart posting 15 saves over his 30 minutes of work in goal.

2011 – Toronto, Ontario
Red Deer Rebels forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was the first-overall selection in the 2011 NHL Draft, and earned Team Orr Player of the Game honours in 2011 with a two-assist performance in a 7-1 victory over Team Cherry. Portland Winterhawks forward Sven Baertschi helped Team Orr’s cause with a goal and an assist.

2002 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
A pair of Medicine Hat Tigers earned Player of the Game honours in the 2002 Top Prospects Game in Saskatoon, as Jay Bouwmeester and Team Tiger skated away with a 7-4 victory over Joffrey Lupul and Team Hrudey. Bouwmeester and Lance Monych (Brandon Wheat Kings) each enjoyed multi-point efforts for Team Tiger, while Lupul’s two goals led the way for Team Hrudey in front of more than 10,000 fans at Saskatchewan Place.

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