The 9th annual GTHL Top Prospects Game, Powered by Under Armour will mark the first time that each team will have three celebrity coaches behind their bench. Some new to the event and some returning for a second or third time, the six celebrity coaches each have some commonalities and differences between them. Here’s what you’ll need to know.
Combined NHL Games: 5,455
Combined GTHL Top Prospects Appearances: 11
Family Ties: The involvement of many of these former NHL players often goes well beyond the game itself. During the 6th annual GTHL Top Prospects Game, Wendel Clark acted as a coach for his son Kody Clark (Ottawa 67s) who was playing with the Toronto Marlboros at the time. Wayne Primeau, although behind the bench this year, played the role of proud father at last year’s game when his son Mason was named as one of the game MVPs.
NHL Seasons Played: 15
NHL Teams: Toronto Maple Leafs, Quebec Nordiques, New York Islanders, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks
Top Prospects Games Coached: This will be Clark’s sixth GTHL Top Prospects Game behind the bench. His last appearance was at the 6th annual GTHL Top Prospects Game in 2014 where he helped coach his Team MacLean-Clark to a 3-2 victory.
Notable GTHL Top Prospects Coached: Tom Wilson (Washington Capitals), Sean Monahan (Calgary Flames), and Darnell Nurse (Edmonton Oilers)
NHL Seasons Played: 14
NHL Teams: Atlanta Thrashers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens
Top Prospects Games Coached: This will be Weaver’s first game behind the bench.
Career Accolades: Going undrafted, Weaver signed with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2000 as a free agent. While playing with the Thrashers’ AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, he helped the lead the team to a Calder Cup championship.
NHL Seasons Played: 19
NHL Teams: Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues
Top Prospects Games Coached: This will be Corson’s second GTHL Top Prospects Game. His last appearance was at the 7th annual GTHL Top Prospects Game in 2015 where his team fell 4-2 to Team Graves.
Notable GTHL Top Prospects Coached: Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm, NHL draft eligible in 2018)
Team Graves-Primeau Tucker
NHL Seasons Played: 16
NHL Teams: Detriot Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers
Top Prospects Games Coached: This will be Graves’ fifth GTHL Top Prospects Game. He previously coached games alongside Nick Kyrepos, Shayne Corson, and Wendel Clark.
Notable GTHL Top Prospects Coached: Jakob Chychrun (Arizona Coyotes) and Victor Mete (Montreal Canadiens)
NHL Seasons Played: 18
NHL Teams: Buffalo Sabres, Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs
Top Prospects Games Coached: Primeau previously coached the GTHL Top Prospects Game in 2015 alongside Adam Graves. This will be his second time coaching in the game.
Notable GTHL Top Prospects Coached: Jack McBain (OJHL Toronto Jr. Canadiens, NHL draft eligible in 2018) and Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs, NHL draft eligible in 2018)
NHL Seasons Played: 15
NHL Teams: Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Avalanche
Top Prospects Games Coached: This will mark Tucker’s first GTHL Top Prospects Game.
Career Accolades: Tucker won three Memorial Cup championships while playing with the Kamloops Blazers in the WHL.