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AJHL Well-Represented for 2017 CJHL Top Prospects Game

By Neil Hilts on January 04, 2017

Eight of the AJHL’s brightest stars will be representing the league on Team West at the upcoming CJHL Top Prospects game on Jan. 25 in Cornwall, Ont.


The top 40 Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) players eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft will have the chance to showcase their skills in front of scouts at the end of January, and the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) has a bevy of players attending.

On Jan. 25, Team East and Team West, consisting of players from leagues across Canada, will play in Cornwall, Ont. Teams were assembled by NHL’s Central Scouting. Prospects must meet the age requirement (17 or 18) and be in their first year of eligibility for the NHL draft.

With eight making the trek from Alberta to suit up for Team West, the AJHL have the third-most players attending, behind the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), with ten, and Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), with nine.

In net, the AJHL will be represented by Spruce Grove’s Connor Dochuk. He is 5-4-1 with a 2.51 GAA. He’s had the chance to learn under Saints’ starting goalie Nolan Kent, who has been dominant this year.

Most of the blue line consists of Alberta players, as Cale Makar (Brooks), Ian Mitchell (Spruce Grove), Matthew Holzer (Olds Grizzlies)and Jarrod Gourley (Spruce Grove) made the cut. 

Makar is likely going to be drafted in the first two rounds of the upcoming NHL Draft and is leading the AJHL in defenceman scoring with 38 points in 29 games. Mitchell has 16 points in 32 games and is committed to the University of Denver next season. Holzer, who was drafted in the third round of the WHL Draft in 2014, has yet to commit to a postsecondary institution, possibly keeping his WHL options open. He has two points in 15 games with Olds and has missed more than half the games due to injury, but appears to be healthy for the start of 2017. Gourley, who started the year with Brooks, has six points in 35 games. He’s bound for Arizona State in 2018. Both Makar and Mitchell played for Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge this season.

Kyler Kupka (Camrose), Cody Laskosky (Whitecourt) and Adam Tisdale (Canmore) are the team’s Albertan forwards. Kupka has 28 points in 34 games, ranking third on the Kodiaks, while Laskosky has 29 points in 36 games – both are in their rookie seasons. Tisdale, in his second year, is averaging just over a point per game and has nearly surpassed his totals from last year.

The tournament will be heavily attended by NHL scouts who are looking to find gems in the upcoming draft.

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By Neil Hilts| January 04, 2017
Categories:  Junior

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