The 2018 North American Hockey League (NAHL) Top Prospects Tournament will be held from February 27-28, 2018 at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan.
The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament is one of the most highly-scouted events of its kind. Last season, over 250 scouts attended the event, which featured almost every NHL team and NCAA Division I school. It continues to be 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.
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. A record number of 305 NAHL players made an NCAA commitment in 2016-17. The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament plays a big role in that success, with over half of the players who played in the 2017 Top Prospects Tournament, earning an NCAA Division I opportunity following their participation in the event.
The event 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. The addition of the NTDP takes the competition and exposure to the next level and provides all of the participating players with a great opportunity to showcase their skills.
100 total players from the NAHL will be spread amongst five teams, who will play in two games each during the event. The event will feature teams that represent the four divisions in the NAHL: Central, East, Midwest and South, along with an NAHL Selects team. Only those NAHL players without an NCAA commitment are eligible to participate in the 2018 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, with the exception of those who will be playing on the NAHL Selects team. Each of the teams will consist of a 20-man roster (12 forwards, 6 defensemen, 2 goaltenders). Each team will play two games at the event.
The NAHL Standings will be frozen on Monday, February 5th. Teams will then be seeded within their division based on win percentage. The #1 seeded team in each division will send 5 players; the #2 seeded team will send 4 players, the # 3, #4 and #5 seeded teams will send 2 or 3 players; and teams seeded 6th will send 2 players. The NAHL will select three Wild Card players to participate on Team East.
The head coach of the team with the best winning percentage in each division as of February 5th shall serve as the head coach for that division's Top Prospects team. The head coach with the second best winning percentage in each division shall serve as the assistant coach for that division's Top Prospects team. Nomination forms will be emailed out to all NAHL Head Coaches. Each Head Coach must submit the names of 3 forwards, 2 defensemen, and 1 goalie from their rosters for consideration for the Top Prospect Tournament.