Who stood out at the BMO Top Prospects Game?

Don Cherry, for the seventh-straight year, suffered defeat at the hands of Bobby Orr at the annual BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Vancouver yesterday. 

The annual game brings together the top 40 draft-eligible prospects from around the CHL, selected by all 30 NHL teams. NHL Central Scouting then takes those 40 players and divides them into two even teams. 

This year’s game was interesting, and not for the usual reason of having stars like Connor McDavid participate. In fact, the expected top three picks (Auston Matthews, Jesse Puljujarvi and Patrick Laine) all play in Europe. 

It was interesting to see who was going to impress. Most were expecting great games from the expected 4-7th picks such as Jakob Chychrun, Alex Nylander and Michael McLeod. 

And while those players had good games – McLeod even earning player of the game for Team Cherry – it was the guys nobody really expected to headline the game that ended up doing just that.

A few players that stood out

Pascal Laberge 

The Victoriaville Tigre centre, with 14 goals and 25 assists on the season, was expected to play well, but not many expected him to steal the show like he did last night. He scored twice for Team Orr, while assisting on Pierre-Luc Dubois’s game winner. 

Laberge was ranked No. 31 by NHL Central Scouting in their midterm rankings. He had an incredible shot and release last night, definitely raising his stocks.

Pierre-Luc Dubois

Dubois was the best player on the ice during the game for both sides, and for good reason. 

Going into it, we were expecting big things from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagle centre who was looking to prove that he should have been on Canada’s World Junior squad, and boy, did he ever make a statement. 

Ranked seventh by Central Scouting, Dubois took matters into his own hands with the game tied at two, and with a nice give-and-go with Laberge, gave his team the win. 

Ty Ronning

A last minute replacement for Team Cherry with expected captain Tyler Benson out with a lower-body injury, Ty Ronning made a name for himself as well. 

The son of Cliff Ronning opened the scoring for Team Cherry, raising his stocks a fair deal.

Evan Fitzpatrick 

The No. 2 ranked netminder in North America had a very good game last night. I mean, just watch this video… ‘Nuff said. 

Last night’s Top Prospects game showed a number of good picks for the first round, as well as some solid second-rounders. It’ll be interesting to see who makes their mark between now and the NHL Entry Draft. 

    • Tomas Oppolzer

      Don’t think Dubois will be available at 5-10, he will challenge for 1st overall. Travesty he did not make Team Canada. Not judging by 1 game watched him a few games on tv last year & a game or 2 this year. He is a definite player. Hope you guys get him. Franchise will be well on way to being cup contender in couple years with your already good young forwards & nice defense group.

      Logan Stanley also stood out. At 6’8″ he will be a force on defense.

      Hope my 2nd favourite team in league gets another good player or 2 in this draft, we need Canadian teams being contenders for Cup.

      By the way I am a Canucks fan who always cheers for you guys when my team is done.

      Go Flames…. If you are not playing my Team.

      Cheers.

  • class1div1

    I was at the game last night, and would definitely agree with your analysis. I thought Abramov on Team Cherry also had a good game. He showcased a ton of skill.

    As for other top guys, I thought Tkachuk and Nylander looked pretty good. They had a lot of time in the offensive zone, but it did not often turn into top flight scoring chances.

  • class1div1

    I thought Dubois looked good enough to challenge Laine and Puljujarvi for 2-3 rank, really. Skill, size, killer instinct, and can play C.

    He’d look real good in red and white.

  • Tomas Oppolzer

    Sorta related in a roundabout way: Mangiapane has 3 goals tonight for Barrie, Andersson with an assist. Jankowski also had the GWG and an assist in Providence’s game today.