The Selects program has had a long track record of success advancing players into the highest leagues in the world. From the NHL to Major Junior, Selects alumni are among the leaders in various leagues across North America. This week, we take a look across the hockey landscape to take a closer look at some of those standout performances.
The NHL will roll out its Stadium Series this weekend with “The Battle of Pennsylvania” as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers face off in front of 69,000 fans at Lincoln Financial Field. Between the two teams, as many as four Selects alumni – Bryan Rust (‘92 East Coast Selects), Robert Hagg (‘95 Sweden Selects), Scott Laughton (‘94 East Coast Selects) and Ivan Provorov (‘97 East Coast Selects-Q) – will suit up to take the game outside and onto one of the biggest stages in professional hockey. The Pens and Flyers will square off at 8 p.m. on Saturday, with plenty on the line as both team lobby for playoff position.
In other NHL news, Sam Gagner (‘89 East Coast Selects) returns to the Edmonton Oilers four years after leaving the team that drafted him in the first round of the 2007 Draft. Gagner has spent the majority of the season in the AHL but the move from Vancouver to Edmonton may afford the 12-year veteran a chance to stick in the NHL for the remainder of the season.
“We’ve liked Sam to be a part of our club,” Oilers assistant GM Keith Gretzky said on the team’s website. “He can add experience in the locker room and we think he can help us on our power play.”
The NHL Trade Deadline is Monday, and high-profile alumni Matt Duchene (‘91 East Coast Selects) and Mark Stone (‘92 East Coast Selects) are expected to be on the move. As teams look to load up rosters for a deep playoff run, these two have been the center of several trade rumors and with only a few days to go, it will be interesting to see where they land.
A pair of Selects alumni reached significant milestones in the OHL this week. Tye Felhaber (‘98 East Coast Selects-Q) played in his 300th career game on Sunday against Kitchener. The Pembroke, Ontario, overager is in his fifth OHL season, totaling 141 goals and 274 points during his lengthy junior career and currently leading the league in scoring.
Former first-round NHL Draft pick Nick Suzuki (‘99 East Coast Selects-O) tallied his 300th career point in the OHL on Monday, with an assist on the game-winning overtime goal against the Flint Firebirds. The Montreal Canadiens prospect has 27 goals and 66 points in 47 games this season.
Riley Damiani (‘00 East Coast Selects-O) razzle-dazzled with this highlight reel goal against Suzuki’s Guelph Storm.
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) February 16, 2019
That was the Dallas Stars prospect’s 21st goal of the season and Damiani now has 65 points in 46 games for Kitchener.
In the QMJHL, Raphaël Lavoie (‘00 East Coast Selects-Q) was named to the Team of the Week, picking up 10 points in a four-game stretch for the Halifax Mooseheads. Eligible for the upcoming 2019 NHL Draft, Lavoie had compiled a nine-game point streak – the second time he’s accomplished the feat this season – totalling 29 goals and 65 points in 55 games.
These Selects along with many other alumni have played at a high level throughout their young careers and know what it takes to stand out in front of scouts, do you? Well we’ve got five tips that can help take your game to the next level and draw the attention of evaluators HERE.