Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Don Cherry isn’t the biggest Russian hockey fan out there. Just ask Alexandre Ovechkin.

Either way, he’ll be coaching the recently turned 18-year old Russian prospect Stanislav Galiev at the 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects game in Windsor, Ont.

The Saint John Sea Dogs rookie has 10G-33A-43P, good for second place in the league’s rookie scoring race. He also leads all QMJHL rookies with an impressive +35 rating.

Before the game tomorrow night (8:00 pm, Rogers Sportsnet, The Fan 590) he’ll participate in the annual skills competition in front of over 30 NHL scouts at the WFCU Centre. Galiev will take part in possibly the most enjoyable contest in the showdown breakaway contest.

The Showdown Breakaway Contest will feature six players per team taking two attempts on goal before a panel of four celebrity judges that will score each attempt based on creativity, originality, degree of difficulty, execution, showmanship, and the ability to score. Celebrity judges include Spitfires’ Vice-President and General Manager Warren Rychel and defenceman Ryan Ellis. Joining them will be former NHL enforcer and Windsor native Bob Probert, along with Rob Faulds from Rogers Sportsnet.

Headlining this new event will be Ryan Spooner and Austin Watson of the Peterborough Petes representing Team Cherry, with Jeff Skinner of the Kitchener Rangers and Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers representing Team Orr. Spooner is tied for the OHL-lead with four shootout goals this season on six attempts with three game-winners, while Watson is a former member of the Spitfires. Skinner and Seguin are the top two goal scorers in the OHL with 35 and 30 goals respectively.

40 of the CHL’s top prospects eligible for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft have been divided amongst four different events and all players competing in a 3-on-3 game to showcase their abilities before fans and a record number of scouts and NHL personnel in attendance. The skills events will include the Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, Shooting Accuracy, and a brand new Showdown style Breakaway Contest.

Unfortunately for Saint John fans outside of the greater Windsor area, the competition is only being broadcasted on TVCogeco Windsor. Here’s hoping for some YouTube moments.

Tomorrow, Galiev and Team Cherry take on Bobby Orr and the other top 20 top prospects. The game will air live across the country on Rogers Sportsnet at 8:00 pm. You can also listen to the game on The Fan 590.

2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Skills Competition Participants:

Skill # 1 – Fastest Skater:
Team Cherry:
Taylor Hall, Windsor Spitfires
Jordan Weal, Regina Pats
Cam Fowler, Windsor Spitfires
Alexander Petrovic, Red Deer Rebels
Team Orr:
Brandon Gormley, Moncton Wildcats
Stephen Silas, Belleville Bulls
Mark Pysyk, Edmonton Oil Kings
Alexander Burmistrov, Barrie Colts

Skill # 2 – Hardest Shot:
Team Cherry:
Brock Beukeboom, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Ryan Johansen, Portland Winterhawks
Brandon Archibald, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Brad Ross, Portland Winterhawks
Team Orr:
Michael Bournival, Shawinigan Cataractes
Dylan McIlrath, Moose Jaw Warriors
Matt MacKenzie, Calgary Hitmen
Jerome Gauthier, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies

Skill # 3 – Shooting Accuracy
Team Cherry:

Jakub Culek, Rimouski Oceanic
Troy Rutkowski, Portland Winterhawks
Austin Madaisky, Kamloops Blazers
Devante Smith-Pelly, Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors
Team Orr:
Steven Shipley, Owen Sound Attack
Ryan Martindale, Ottawa 67’s
Quinton Howden, Moose Jaw Warriors
Petr Straka, Rimouski Oceanic

Skill # 4 – Showdown Breakaway Contest:
Team Cherry:

Ryan Spooner, Peterborough Petes
Tyler Toffoli, Ottawa 67’s
Emerson Etem, Medicine Hat Tigers
Stanislav Galiev, Saint John Sea Dogs
Louis-Marc Aubry, Montreal Juniors
Austin Watson, Peterborough Petes
Andrew Yogan, Erie Otters
Team Orr:
Tyler Toffoli, Ottawa 67’s
Jeff Skinner, Kitchener Rangers
Nino Niederreiter, Portland Winterhawks
John McFarland, Sudbury Wolves
Joey Hishon, Owen Sound Attack
Tyler Seguin, Plymouth Whalers

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