NA3HL announces 2023 Top Prospects Tournament rosters and schedule

By Kevin Scott

DALLAS, TX., January 20, 2023 — The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) have announced the rosters (including coaches) and tournament schedule for the 2023 Top Prospects Tournament that will be held on Monday and Tuesday, February 6-7, 2023, at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, (outside of Pittsburgh) Pennsylvania. The NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins call the sports complex their practice facility.

The two-day annual Top Prospects Tournament (TPT), held in conjunction with the 2023 North American Hockey League (NAHL) Top Prospects Tournament, is one of the most highly scouted events of its kind with many scouts coming to attend this prestigious event from the junior hockey ranks, NCAA, American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) and the National Hockey League (NHL). Click here to view the ticket prices for the TPT.

The NA3HL standings were frozen on Sunday, January 8th and teams were seeded within their division based on their win percentage. The number of players each NA3HL team is sending to the event was based on each team’s winning percentage within their group.

The NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament is another great example of the cooperative relationship and ladder of development between the NA3HL and NAHL. The fact remains that when it comes to Tier III junior leagues, no other league has had more movement and advanced more players onto play in the NAHL than the NA3HL. Through the NAHL’s vast resources for development and exposure, like the annual Top Prospects Tournament, the NA3HL provides a worthy path for players to grow on and off the ice, while being showcased in front of the entire junior, college and professional scouting community.

The NA3HL is in its 13th season in 2022-23 and serves as one of the top training grounds in the country by providing the best coaching, exposure, and developmental vehicles available for student-athletes in Tier III junior hockey. It is one of only two USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III junior leagues. No other league of its kind has had more movement and advanced more players onto play in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) than the NA3HL. Thanks to additional and enhanced initiatives in cooperation with the NAHL put in place several years ago, more players from the NA3HL play, practice, and earn NCAA Division I scholarships with the NAHL than any other league.

In addition to the five NA3HL teams (Central, East, Frontier, South and West Divisions), there will be one North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) 18U Top Prospects team that will also play in the event. The NAPHL 18U Top Prospects team will be a collection of the best 18U players from the NAPHL T1ER League teams. It is a unique opportunity for the NAPHL because no other youth league provides their players with this type of exposure, which will include all 31 NAHL teams and hundreds of NCAA and NHL scouts.

Each of the six TPT teams (100 players total) will each play two games with each squad having 20 players (12 forwards, 6 defensemen, and 2 goaltenders) along with a head coach and an assistant coach. Respective head coaches from around the league nominated any players that were considered for the prestigious event.

The NA3HL’s Frontier Division will be coached by former Great Falls Americans Assistant Coach (2019-20) and current head coach of the Gillette (WY) Wild, Ethan Hayes.  Hayes’ assistant will be assisting Helena Bighorns Head Coach Scott Cunningham. Back in 2002-2003, Cunningham was the head coach of the Great Falls Americans of the American West Hockey League (AWHL) for one season.

In addition to the players being announced, the coaches were also named. Oregon Tradesmen Head Coach Eric Fenton will guide the Central Division Team with assistance from Rochester Grizzlies Head Coach Chris Ratzloff. The East Team’s Head Coach is Darryl Locke from the Northeast Generals with the Norwich Sea Captains Head Coach Kevin Cunningham assisting. Scott Cunningham (Helena Bighorns) will assist Ethan Hayes from the Gillette Wild. Texas RoadRunners head coach Mike Beavis will lead the South Division with john Goffredo of the Texas Brahmas assisting. The West Team will be guided by Brad Willner (head coach of the Granite City Lumberjacks) and Jeff Crouse of the Alexandria Blizzard.

To view the full list of coaches and the schedule, please click here.

The Frontier Division will have a total 20 players spread throughout the four teams competing in the ‘all-star like” event including five from the Gillette (WY) Wild (Sky Solig, Josef Lalli, Alec Walker, Saizha Norwegian, and Anthony Foster), the Helena Bighorns will send four players including Dylan Cunningham, Tyler Bloom, Harlan Wojtusik, and Tyler Aldridge), three each from the Sheridan (WY) Hawks (McCaffrey Billings, Parker Norling and Ryan McKenna), two players from the Bozeman Ice Dogs (Cam Milewski and Cole Busher), two from the Butte Cobras (Nick Bradshaw and Caleb Cross) and one representing the Great Falls Americans (Alex Leaf). The Badlands (SD) Sabres forward Hunter Walla and the Yellowstone Quake’s Brayson Bennett are also on the roster.

“Alex is very deserving of this honor,” said Great Falls Americans Head Coach and General Manager, Greg Sears. “He is one of our most consistent players. It will be a good trip for him.”


2023 Top Prospects Tourney Schedule: (All Times converted to Mountain Standard Time from Eastern Standard Time)

Monday, February 6th

7:00AM: South Division vs. East Division

10:00AM: NAPHL vs. West Division

1:00PM: Central Division vs. Frontier Division

Tuesday, February 7th

6:00AM: Frontier Division vs. South Division

7:30AM: NAPHL vs. Central Division

10:30AM: East Division vs. West Division


Click on the links below for a full roster list (printable PDF version) from each of the five NA3HL teams and the NAPHL T1ER U18 team. No information was given for the NAPHL squad.

Central Division East Division Frontier Division South Division West Division NAPHL T1ER  18

                                           


Click here to view the NA3HL Press Release with rosters, coaches, and schedule and information for the 2023 Top Prospects Tournament. Fans can also follow the action live at HockeyTV and see the stats updated live on the NA3HL Scoreboard.

The following links are articles relating to the 2023 Top Prospects Tournament.

January 24, 2023: NA3HL News: NA3HL Top Prospects just two weeks away

January 12, 2023: NA3HL News: 2022 Schedule, coaches announced for 2023 NA3HL Top Prospects

To view more information about the 2023 Top Prospects Tournament, please visit the tournament webpage: http://na3hl.com/tpt/

Click here to view the article on the NA3HL League Website.