The North American Hockey League announced the teams for the annual Top Prospects Tournament, being held at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, Pa., Feb. 7-8.
Ten New England natives were named to the four teams representing each of the NAHL’s four divisions that will compete at the event. The majority of prospects selected are still looking to secure Division 1 commitments and will have the opportunity to showcase their abilities in front of myriad NHL scouts, along with D-1 and D-3 college coaches looking to build their future rosters. The only exceptions are players with NCAA commitments, but who also appear on NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings released earlier in the month.
Longmeadow, Mass., native Frankie Ireland is one uncommitted local who should appeal to recruiters looking for a player who blends pace and scoring with seasoning and experience as a 21-year-old freshman next season. The youngest New Englander in the showcase is Ireland’s Lone Star Brahmas teammate Arthur Smith (Farmington, Conn.), a former South Kent Selects star who blends excellent size and athleticism into a raw but impressive package.
The NAHL is the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier 2 junior hockey league in the country. Across the divisions, the league has 29 teams playing in its 47th season. The NAHL’s top clubs will compete for the 2022 Robertson Cup championship held in Blaine, Minn., in May.