NAPHL Top Prospects a success in Edina
May 18, 2016
The NAPHL Top Prospects Tournament took place this past weekend at Braemar Ice Arena in Edina, Minnesota in cooperation with the NAHL’s Robertson Cup Championship, along with the final NAHL Future Prospects Combine of the season.
80 players from the NAPHL’s 18U Division this past season took part in the event. Over 100 NHL, NCAA and junior scouts checked into the event over the course of the three days and NAHL Central Scouting was in attendance as well.
The West team ended up going a perfect 4-0 in the event and capturing the 2016 NAPHL Top Prospects title.
“I thought the Top Prospects was a great event. It comes at a time of year when it can be a primary focus of players and scouts, with the NAHL Draft and tryout season right around the corner. It is the only NAPHL event that takes place outside of the traditional hockey season, so the players can put 100% of their focus and energy into the competition, and it really showed this past weekend in Edina,” said NAPHL Director Lucas Trombetta. "In addition, it really added to the atmosphere at the arena, with both the Robertson Cup and the NAHL Combine going on at the same time. There was something for everyone there."
With the NAHL’s Robertson Cup going on during the same time, scouts were able to get a look at those NAPHL players, who are looking to get tendered or drafted by NAHL teams. In the coming weeks, look for several of these players to sign NAHL tenders or be selected in the 2016 NAHL Draft, which is slated for June 7th at 1pm.
There were also a handful of players that have already been tendered by NAHL clubs, that allowed their teams to get a look at them against some very good NAPHL competition. This is the first NAPHL event in three months since the Championship took place in Ann Arbor, Michigan back in February.
The Champions from the West Division team were led by forwards Hunter Alden (Wenatchee Wolves) and Matthew Kopperud (Pursuit of Excellence), who each had four points at the event. Forward JP Nolette (Pikes Peak/Aston tender) led the team with three goals. Goalie Bronson Moore (Wenatchee Wolves) was the top goalie at the event, allowing just one goal on 53 shots and fellow West netminder William Lowe III (Esmark Stars) was 3rd, allowing just three goals on 44 shots. The West team gave up just four goals in four games.
The South team, who lost to the West in the Championship, were led by the event’s leading scorer Nicholas Ness (Rocky Mountain RoughRiders), who had five points in four games. Defenseman Brendan Gysbers (Omaha AAA/New Jersey tender) had two points. West goalie Cody Christofferson (Rocky Mountain RoughRiders/Amarillo tender) was tremendous at the event, playing in all four games and finishing 2nd in goalie statistics with a 1.50 GAA and allowing just six goals on 135 shots.
At 2-2, the Central team finished in 3rd place. Defenseman Shayne Monahan (Omaha AAA), who just signed an NAHL tender with the Kenai River Brown Bears, led his team in scoring with four points, which also led all defensemen at the event. Forward Jeremy Wilber (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights) also had four points. Goalie Hunter Smith (HC Dallas/Aston tender) with 4th in goalie stats with a 2.50 GAA and stopping 60 of 65 shots.
The North team finished 0-4, but several players put up some good numbers, which included forwards Kevin Ford (Madison Capitols), Skylar Miller (Meijer AAA) and Zack Olen (Meijer AAA/Topeka tender), who all had three points at the event. Goalies Alex Chen (Washington Little Caps) and Ryan Fanti (Thunder Bay Kings) shared the duties in goal.