The Annual CHL Top Prospects game has come to an end with the top prospects across Canada battling it out in a highly entertaining game. Both Team Red and Team White featured some of the top players across the CHL with the top two 2020 NHL Draft eligible prospects battling it out against each other as Alexis Lafreniere of Team White and Quinton Byfield Of Team Red squared off against one another for the first time.
Every year at the CHL top-prospects game, there are always some slightly lower-ranked prospects that have a big impact in the game and get a lot more attention when they get back to their respective CHL team. This year’s game was no exception. Multiple players had big games and as a result, should be expecting a lot of added attention when they return to league play.
Right from the beginning of the game, Poirier was one of the standouts to get things started. Paired with fellow top blue-line prospect Jamie Drysdale, Porier was the more noticeable of the two high-profile defenders. Poirier created offence whenever he could which resulted in him scoring the first goal of the game and recording the primary assist on Team Red’s last-second goal.
Despite the success of his offensive game, his defence cannot be ignored. Poirier was aggressive in his own end and made smart plays at both ends of the ice. He leads not only his own team in shots, but recorded the highest amount in the game with five on net.
His skating abilities are one of his best attributes as he continuously was able to enter the offensive zone and exit his own zone with control of the puck. The Saint John Sea Dogs defender only helped his draft stock at the top-prospects game and is someone who will certainly have a lot more eyes on him leading up to the draft.
The Alliston, Ontario native could not have hoped to have a better game. Tyson Foerster was truly the difference-maker for Team White with two goals and an assist. Foerster put his elite shot on display for the game’s first goal and his first at the showcase.
While on a two-on-one with teammate Alexis Lafreniere next to him, Foerster elected to shoot the puck short-side from far out and beat the goaltender as his shot was too fast to stop. While his shot was clearly displayed throughout the night, Foerster showed scouts that he is more than just a goal scorer. For his third point of the night, Foerster elected not to shoot when he had the chance in front of the net and instead smartly passed the puck to his defender behind him who proceeded to find the back of the net with a quick shot. With that play amongst others, Foerster tried to show everyone that he is a smart player who makes the best play possible for his team to score, not just for himself to score.
Although he did not get on the scoresheet, Alexis Lafreniere put his entire skill set on display. Lafreniere, the expected first overall pick for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft, not only created offence for his team the entire game, but he was also strong in his own end for Team White on the ice as well. What was perhaps the most impressive part of his game was his physicality.
Lafreniere is not known for his size which makes it all the more enjoyable to watch him use the body to his advantage and put up some big hits. During the opening minutes of the game, Lafreniere laid a solid hit on his opposing captain Quinton Byfield. It was quite impressive considering Byfield’s size as he claims to be 220lbs.
The captain of Team White thought he had a goal early on in the game when he sniped the puck past the opposing goaltender, however, the beauty goal was later called off due to an offside ruling. The top-prospects game only helped prove to scouts that Alexis Lafreniere is the top prospect for the 2020 National Hockey League Entry Draft.