The CHL and QMJHL announced earlier today that the 2017 CHL/NHL Top Prospects game will be held in Quebec City at the Centre Vidéotron, with the Quebec Remparts acting as the host team. The event will take place on Thursday, January 26, 2017.
The Quebec Remparts to host the 2017 CHL/NHL Top Prospects game.
— Jeff Marek (@JeffMarek) March 2, 2016
The event will be the 22nd edition of the event that brings together the top-40 NHL draft eligible players playing in the OHL, QMJHL and WHL.
The 30 NHL teams will select who plays in the event, and from there, NHL Central Scouting will divide those players into two evenly matched squads. Popular celebrity coaches Don Cherry and Bobby Orr are expected to return to the event next year.
Quebec City At The Centre of Attention
This will be the second major event hosted by the Remparts in three years.
Quebec City played host to the 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup in a last hurrah for the old Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City before the newly constructed Centre Vidéotron became the home of the Remparts.
Over 412,000 fans have been in attendance during the new building’s inaugural season as the home of Quebec’s Major. Jr team.
The Centre Vidéotron has a capacity of 18,259 for hockey, making it the highest-capacity rink to ever host a CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game that doesn’t also play host to an NHL team.
Perhaps a New Name Forthcoming?
An interesting note in the announcement of the event is the potential for a new sponsor.
While the event has been called the ‘BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game’ for the last number of years, the Canadian Hockey League in a press release only called the event the ‘CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game’, while naming other sponsors such as Cooper Tires, autoTRADER.ca, and Sherwin Williams in the same release.
That leads some to wonder if there’s a new title sponsor forthcoming.
Showcasing Stars Since 1996
Since the event’s inception in 1996, stars like Steven Stamkos, Joe Thorton, Patrick Kane, Rick Nash, Taylor Hall, Aaron Ekblad and Connor McDavid have all hit the ice in the game that puts the players in front of a national television audience as well as scouts from every NHL team.
This year’s game back in January saw some of the best talent in North America play for Team Orr and Team Cherry including Matthew Tkachuk, Jakob Chychrun and Pascal Laberge.
And with a pretty good draft class next year, it should be an entertaining game from Quebec City on January 26, 2017.
Ben Smith covers the CHL for The Hockey Writers. He also writes for HockeyNow Magazine, FlamesNation and SB Nation.