GTHL Top Prospects Game alumni have blazed impressive trail
When rosters are announced each year, most names don’t ring a bell. Handles like Brandon Coe, Billy Constantinou, Cody Morgan, Jamieson Rees and Nick Robertson haven’t quite become names synonymous with hockey. But maybe one day.
There’s little doubt that the dream of becoming a household name lingers in the minds of the 40-some kids that skate each year in the GTHL Top Prospects Game Powered by Under Armour. Wouldn’t it be nice to look back one day and think, ‘that was the start of something big.’
That certainly has been the case for a fair number of the game’s alumni. Look at NHL boxscores on any given night and you’re sure to find at least one mention of Connor McDavid, Sean Monahan, Nick Ritchie or Max Domi. Not to mention Darnell Nurse, Sam Bennett, Robby Fabbri and Mitch Marner. We could keep going, but you get the point.
Big names play in this game. Year in and year out.
Right now it’s only a small circle that knows of them. Friends at school, scouts in the stands, proud family members. But with each passing game, the circle grows. Local writers, junior-market television stations, college recruiters, NHL executives.
For a fortunate few, that circle continues to expand into the professional ranks and soon they’re a talking point on Hockey Night in Canada. That’s the dream.
Of course that won’t be the case for each alumnus – of which there are nearly 300 from the first seven games. The numbers simply don’t add up, but that’s not to stop them from putting on a show in a best-on-best matchup against their minor midget peers.
Imagine the stories you could tell if you beat out Monahan, McDavid or Marner for team MVP, like Matia Marcantuoni, Dante Salituro and Nicolas Mucci did in their years. In fairness to those three MVPs, they’re each still chasing the dream of making the NHL, and we hope they achieve it.
That’s the beauty of the game – not just the Top Prospects Game, but the sport in general. The outcome is so unpredictable. That’s why we watch. That’s why we play.
Because, maybe one day. . .