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Monday, January 17, 2011

OHL Players to Compete in 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Skills Competition

The Canadian Hockey League today announced the four events and participants for the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Skills Competition set for Tuesday January 18 at 7:00 pm at Air Canada Centre.

40 of the CHL’s top prospects eligible for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft have been divided into four different events including the Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, Shooting Accuracy, and a Showdown Breakaway Contest.  Following the four events, all participants will have the ability to showcase their skills in a 3-on3 game before fans and scouts in attendance.

The competition opens with the top two ranked OHL defencemen in the Fastest Skater event including Team Orr’s Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara IceDogs who is ranked seventh by NHL Central Scouting and Team Cherry’s Ryan Murphy of the Kitchener Rangers who is ranked 10th.  The Hardest Shot contest features a pair of WHL defencemen including Team Orr’s David Musil of the Vancouver Giants who is ranked 26th, and Team Cherry’s Duncan Siemens of the Saskatoon Blades who appears 14th on the NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings.  Second ranked forward Sean Couturier of the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Team Cherry will compete in the Shooting Accuracy along with Saint John Sea Dogs’ sniper Zack Phillips of Team Orr.

This season’s Breakaway Contest competitors include Team Orr’s number three ranked Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels and fourth ranked Sven Bartschi of the Portland Winterhawks.  They will try and outperform Team Cherry competition that includes internet shootout sensation Tomas Jurco of the Saint John Sea Dogs ranked 24th by NHL Central Scouting, and 19th ranked Ryan Strome of the Niagara IceDogs who scored arguably the nicest goal in the OHL this season.   

The Showdown Breakaway Contest made its debut last season in Windsor and will again feature six players per team taking two attempts on goal before a panel of four judges that will score each attempt based on creativity, originality, degree of difficulty, execution, showmanship, and the ability to score.  First round pick and Carolina Hurricanes rookie Jeff Skinner won the Breakaway Contest last season as a member of the Kitchener Rangers against some stiff competition that included current Boston Bruins rookie Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers and New York Islanders first round pick Nino Niederreiter of the Portland Winterhawks who scored a one-handed backhand goal to the amazement of the sold out WFCU Centre crowd.

Other winners last season included first round pick and current Atlanta Thrashers rookie Alexander Burmistrov who won the Fastest Skater event, while Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds captain and Tampa Bay Lightning third round pick Brock Beukeboom had the Hardest Shot.  Florida Panthers first round pick and Canadian National Junior Team member Quinton Howden of the Moose Jaw Warriors claimed first place in the Accuracy Shooting.

The best individual score in each event receives a goal for their team, with another goal awarded for the best team average from each event for a total of eight available goals.  The 3-on-3 game consists of two 15-minute periods with running time with all goals scored counting towards the overall competition score.

Tickets can be purchased individually for the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Skills Competition on January 18 beginning as low as $10, with tickets for the January 19 game beginning at $40 for purchase at or by calling 416-872-5000.

The 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is supported by associate sponsors Bank of Montreal, Subway, and CCM.  The game will be broadcast live to a national audience on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS beginning at 7:00 pm Eastern.
2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Skills Competition Participants:

Skill 1 – Fastest Skater

Team Orr:
Dougie Hamilton, Niagara IceDogs
Shane McColgan, Kelowna Rockets
Nathan Beaulieu, Saint John Sea Dogs
Daniel Catenacci, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Team Cherry:
Ryan Murphy, Kitchener Rangers
Mark McNeill, Prince Albert Raiders
Tobias Rieder, Kitchener Rangers
Rickard Rakell, Plymouth Whalers

Skill 2 – Hardest Shot

Team Orr:
David Musil, Vancouver Giants
Stuart Percy, Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors
Vincent Trocheck, Saginaw Spirit
Reece Scarlett, Swift Current Broncos

Team Cherry:
Myles Bell, Regina Pats
Scott Harrington, London Knights
Duncan Siemens, Saskatoon Blades
Tyler Wotherspoon, Portland Winterhawks

Skill 3 – Shooting Accuracy

Team Orr:
Lucas Lessio, Oshawa Generals
Zack Phillips, Saint John Sea Dogs
Boone Jenner, Oshawa Generals
Colin Jacobs, Seattle Thunderbirds

Team Cherry:
Sean Couturier, Drummondville Voltigeurs
Matthew Puempel, Peterborough Petes
Shane Prince, Ottawa 67’s
Phillip Danault, Victoriaville Tigres

Skill 4 – Show-Down Breakaway Contest

Team Orr:
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Red Deer Rebels
Brandon Saad, Saginaw Spirit
Sven Bartschi, Portland Winterhawks
Vladislav Namestnikov, London Knights
Jonathan Huberdeau, Saint John Sea Dogs
Xavier Ouellet, Montreal Juniors

Team Cherry:
Ty Rattie, Portland Winterhawks
Tomas Jurco, Saint John Sea Dogs
Nicklas Jensen, Oshawa Generals
Ryan Strome, Niagara IceDogs
Mark Scheifele, Barrie Colts
Joe Morrow, Portland Winterhawks


Team Orr:
Jordan Binnington, Owen Sound Attack
Liam Liston, Brandon Wheat Kings

Team Cherry:
Christopher Gibson, Chicoutimi Sagueneens
David Honzik, Victoriaville Tigres

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