Prince Albert, SK – Kaiden Guhle and Ozzy Wiesblatt will be taking on the best draft eligible CHL players in January.
On Monday, Guhle and Wiesblatt were two of 40 players invited to compete in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Thursday, January 16 in Hamilton, ON. The 40 players chosen represented the WHL, Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Guhle, who hails from Sherwood Park, AB, is the Raiders’ highest scoring defenceman to this point in the season with seven goals and 15 assists in 33 games. The blueliner is an ‘A’ rated prospect for this June’s NHL Draft, which indicates a potential first-round pick.
Wiesblatt, a Calgary, AB product, is second in team scoring with 15 goals and 24 assists in 33 games. His 24 assists is tied for tops on the team. Wiesblatt is a ‘B’ rated prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft, which is a potential second-or-third-round pick according to NHL Central Scouting.
With the selection of Guhle and Wiesblatt, a representative from the Raiders has been named to the event for the past 10 years. Last year, Brett Leason was named to the roster as a member of the Raiders.
“All 31 NHL clubs have a say in the player selection process and take great interest in this best-on-best showcase,” said Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting. “The Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is a great opportunity for scouts and general managers to evaluate talent and we look forward to seeing which players will make their mark in Hamilton.”
Among the players named to the preliminary roster are Canadian National Junior Team members such as CHL top scorer and reigning Player of the Year Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic, fellow forwards Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves and Dawson Mercer of the Drummondville Voltigeurs, defenceman Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters, and goaltender Nico Daws of the Guelph Storm. Three more players including Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit, Connor Zary of the Kamloops Blazers, and defenceman Braden Schneider of the Brandon Wheat Kings will also compete after attending Canada’s Selection Camp for World Juniors.
31 of the CHL’s 60 member clubs are represented with a total of 17 OHL players from 13 different teams, 13 WHL players from 10 different teams, and 10 QMJHL players from eight different teams. Nine different teams have two players listed including Brandon, Drummondville, Kamloops, the Ottawa 67’s, Prince Albert Raiders, Shawinigan Cataractes, Soo Greyhounds, Sudbury, and the Windsor Spitfires.
19 of the players selected received ‘A’ ratings as first round candidates determined by NHL Central Scouting in their November Players to Watch list including 13 forwards and six defencemen. 17 players were given ‘B’ ratings including 11 forwards and six defencemen, while all four goaltenders were listed as ‘C’ rated prospects.
2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Roster:
*denotes ‘A’ rated first round candidate
Nico Daws (Guelph Storm)
Dylan Garand (Kamloops Blazers)
Brock Gould (Victoria Royals)
Samuel Hlavaj (Sherbrooke Phoenix)
Justin Barron (Halifax Mooseheads)*
Lukas Cormier (Charlottetown Islanders)
Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters)*
Kaiden Guhle (Prince Albert Raiders)*
Daemon Hunt (Moose Jaw Warriors)*
Thimo Nickl (Drummondville Voltigeurs)
Ryan O’Rourke (Soo Greyhounds)
Jeremie Poirier (Saint John Sea Dogs)*
Braden Schneider (Brandon Wheat Kings)*
Donovan Sebrango (Kitchener Rangers)
Christoffer Sedoff (Red Deer Rebels)
Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves)
Mavrik Bourque (Shawinigan Cataractes)
Quinton Byfield (Sudbury Wolves)*
Brandon Coe (North Bay Battalion)
Will Cuylle (Windsor Spitfires)*
Jack Finley (Spokane Chiefs)
Tyson Foerster (Barrie Colts)
Jean-Luc Foudy (Windsor Spitfires)*
Ridly Greig (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Seth Jarvis (Portland Winterhawks)
Alexis Lafreniere (Rimouski Oceanic)*
Hendrix Lapierre (Chicoutimi Sagueneens)*
Dawson Mercer (Drummondville Voltigeurs)*
Jake Neighbours (Edmonton Oil Kings)
Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit)*
Jacob Perreault (Sarnia Sting)*
Vasiliy Ponomarev (Shawinigan Cataractes)
Jaromir Pytlik (Soo Greyhounds)
Jack Quinn (Ottawa 67’s)*
Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s)*
Justin Sourdif (Vancouver Giants)*
Antonio Stranges (London Knights)*
Oliver Suni (Oshawa Generals)
Ozzy Wiesblatt (Prince Albert Raiders)
Connor Zary (Kamloops Blazers)*
The 40 players will be divided into teams by NHL Central Scouting and announced along with coaching staffs in January.
12 CHL players from last year’s game in Red Deer were chosen in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft led by Saskatoon Blades forward Kirby Dach picked third overall and currently competing as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. In 24 years, a total of 329 CHL players from this event have been chosen by NHL clubs in the first round of the NHL Draft representing close to 45% of all players selected. Since the event was first introduced in 1996 the game has featured 14 players selected with the first overall pick in the NHL Draft including Nico Hischier (2017), Connor McDavid (2015), Aaron Ekblad (2014), Nathan MacKinnon (2013), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011), Taylor Hall (2010), John Tavares (2009), Steven Stamkos (2008), Patrick Kane (2007), Marc-Andre Fleury (2003), Rick Nash (2002), Vincent Lecavalier (1998), Joe Thornton (1997), and Chris Phillips (1996).
The 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is proudly supported by new title partner Kubota Canada, and CHL associate partners CIBC, Kia Canada, and Cooper Tires. The game will be broadcast live across Canada on Sportsnet and TVA Sports, and in the United States on NHL Network.
Guhle, Wiesblatt, and the Raiders are back in action on Friday, December 27 when they open a home-and-home series with the Blades at the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drop is 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Raiders Office and online here.