The USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is Tuesday, January 12th in Omaha, Nebraska. The annual event features some of the league’s top prospects as well as some of their most promising officials. The referees and linesmen taking the ice for the game are:
Andrew Bruggeman (#14) – N. Mankato, MN
Korey Chipperfield (#10) – Omaha, NE
Riley Bowles (#92) – Chattaroy, WA
Brian McAvoy (#55) – St. Bonifacius, MN
All four took part in USA Hockey’s Program of Merit officiating session over the summer, which featured instruction from NHL referees Greg Kimmerly and Ian Walsh and from linesmen Brian Murphy, Andy McElman, and Bryan Pancich.
From the USHL:
The two-day event will begin on Monday, January 11th with a luncheon featuring a keynote speaker followed by meet and greet opportunities later that evening. Tuesday will feature both on-ice and off-ice testing leading up to the main event that evening.
“We are excited to offer fans, players and NHL talent evaluators a top-notch showcase event that not only helps solidify our league’s position in the developmental landscape, but offers NHL caliber talent in a high-quality venue for everyone to enjoy,” said Bob Fallen, USHL President and Commissioner. “We invite fans from across the region to join us in Omaha to see future NHL and NCAA elite talent all under one roof.”
The 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Dubuque, Iowa saw a near-sellout crowd for the pre-game skills competition and game, and was featured in a 30-minute special on NHL Network. NHL Central Scouting A-rated skaters in the event included Youngstown Phantoms forward and 2015 USHL Player of the Year Kyle Connor, as well as Brock Boeser andTom Novak of the Waterloo Black Hawks.
A total of 12 players invited to the 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game saw an improvement in their NHL Central Scouting Ranking from the Midterm Rank to the Final Rank: Kyle Connor, Brock Boeser, Thomas Novak, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Erik Foley (did not play due to injury), Cooper Marody, Dennis Gilbert, Chris Wilkie, Matthew Freytag, Adam Gaudette, Ryan Larkin and Chase Pearson.
Prior to this year’s contest, a total of 30 players that have been selected to compete in the previous two USHL/NHL Top Prospects Games have gone on to be chosen in the NHL Draft, including first round selections Mike Matheson (Florida Panthers), Jordan Schmaltz (St. Louis Blues) and Zemgus Girgensons (Buffalo Sabres).