The 2022 North American Hockey League Top Prospects Tournament begins Monday, and the St. Cloud Norsemen will be represented by defenseman Nick Young, forward Peyton Hanson, goaltender Tomas Bolo, and additionally, two recently acquired forwards Ethan Benz and Gramm McCormack, along with team play-by-play broadcaster Ashley Chase.
The 2022 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament is being held from February 7-8, 2022 at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. The UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex is the practice home to the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.
The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament is one of the most highly scouted events of its kind, featuring almost every NHL team and NCAA Division I school. it continues to provide the hundreds of NHL and NCAA scouts in attendance with a look at the best uncommitted players the NAHL has to offer, as well as some potential NHL Draft picks. It is an important part of the NAHL event model, which is inclusive of the NAHL Showcase in September and the NAHL Robertson Cup National Championship in May.
Young, a 6’3 210 lbs. 2001-born defenseman, hails from Raleigh, North Carolina and has 13 points this season on 3 goals and 10 assists, including a game-winning goal. Young is a shot-blocking penalty killer for the Norsemen, and has played in all 37 games this season and 83 in his NAHL career.
Hanson replaces Logan Kittleson at Top Prospects after an injury sidelined the Norsemen forward.
Hanson, a 6’1 195 lbs. 2001-born forward from Hudson, Wisconsin and has 21 points on 7 goals and 14 assists, playing in all 37 games this season. Hanson is a left-shot that plays on both the Norsemen power play and penalty kill, and has posted two shorthanded goals this season.
Bolo has a 16-6-0 record this season for St. Cloud with a 2.28 goals against average and .908 save percentage, along with 3 shutouts. Bolo, a native of Zilina, Slovakia, was named to the roster for Slovakia at the World Juniors this year and dressed in two games before the IIHF canceled the tournament. Bolo received back-to-back Central Division Star of the Week honors in the month of January, as he won seven straight contests as part of the Norsemen eight-game win streak.
Benz, recently acquired from the Chippewa Steel, has 36 points in 41 games this season, scoring 16 goals and 20 assists. The 6’1 185 lbs. 2001 left-shot forward played his first two games for the Norsemen this past weekend and will suit up on the Midwest division roster.
McCormack, was acquired from the Kenai River Brown Bears late last week and played in both Norsemen home games over the weekend. The 5’10 2001 left shot forward has scored 25 points in 43 games, with 9 goals and 16 assists.
Young, Hanson and McCormack will represent St. Cloud on the Central Division team. Benz will be on the Midwest team and Bolo is part of the NAHL Selects.
Voice of the Norsemen Ashley Chase is one of two play-by-play broadcasters selected by broadcasters from around the league, to call the Top Prospects games along with Mike Wisienski of the Odessa Jackalopes. The games will be broadcast live in HD on HockeyTV.com
The number of players each NAHL team is sending to the tournament, in which four teams from the four NAHL divisions: Central, East, Midwest and South, will each play in two game games, was based on each team’s winning percentage within their group as of January 10, 2022. Only those NAHL players without an NCAA commitment are eligible to participate in the 2022 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, except for those who have been identified by NHL Central Scouting as prospects for the 2022 NHL Draft. Each team is comprised of 20 players (12 forwards, 6 defensemen, 2 goalies).
One of the things the NAHL does better than any other junior league is seeing their players earn an NCAA opportunity while playing and being showcased in the NAHL. To date, 165 players have already made NCAA commitments during the 2021-22 season.
For more information on the 2022 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament including rosters, tickets and hotels, please visit: http://nahl.com/tpt/
UPDATED 2022 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament Schedule (all times eastern)Monday, February 7th 1:30pm: NTDP vs. Selects 4:00pm: Central vs. Midwest 6:30pm: East vs. South Tuesday, February 8th 9:00am: Selects vs. Midwest 11:30am: South vs. Central 2:00pm: East vs. NTDP