Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with Sherwin-Williams announced today the coaching staffs for the 2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game set for Monday January 30 in Quebec City, hosted by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Quebec Remparts.
QMJHL all-time greats Simon Gagné and Guy Chouinard will serve as head coaches for the 22nd annual showcase that features 40 of the top CHL prospects eligible for the 2017 National Hockey League Draft. Gagné will lead Team Cherry alongside two assistant coaches that include fellow Remparts alumnus Pierre Lacroix, and current team head coach Philippe Boucher. Joining Chouinard behind the bench for Team Orr will be former Rempart Dave Pichette, and Drummondville Voltigeurs’ head coach Dominique Ducharme.
“The Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is a game changer for NHL Draft eligible players. It’s their time to shine on a national stage in front of scouts and fans. We look forward to seeing the best of the best compete during this marquee event,” said Gilles Courteau, QMJHL Commissioner. “Having our alumni come back to coach the game is a testament to how strongly they feel about the league and their desire to give back. If you’re a hockey fan, you don’t want to miss out on this unique opportunity to see such a diversely talented group of athletes.”
Gagné and Chouinard both enjoyed decorated careers together as members of the Remparts organization. Gagné, a native of Sainte-Foy, played the final two seasons of his three-year QMJHL career in Quebec amassing 80 goals and 109 assists for 189 points in 114 career games playing for Chouinard. Gagné and Chouinard’s son Eric both represented the Remparts at the 1998 Top Prospects Game in Toronto and would both become first round picks that June with Gagné selected 22nd overall by the Philadelphia Flyers. Gagné’s NHL career spanned parts of 14 seasons including more than 10 with the Flyers, totaling 822 career games from 1999 through 2015 recording 601 points. A Stanley Cup champion with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012, Gagné also represented Canada on several occasions with highlights that include a silver medal at the 1999 IIHF World Junior Championship and competing twice as a member of Canada’s Olympic team winning gold in 2002. In 1999-2000 the Remparts honoured Gagné by retiring his number 12 jersey.
Chouinard’s 19-year QMJHL coaching career accumulated many accolades including Coach of the Year honours with Sherbrooke in 1993, and twice with the Gagné -led Remparts in 1998 and 1999. He currently ranks second all-time in QMJHL regular season and playoff games coached with 1 121 and 153 respectively, as well as in wins with 569 and 79. Chouinard guided the 1987 Longueuil Chevaliers to a President Cup title in his first full season behind the bench. On the ice, the Quebec native played three seasons for his hometown Remparts winning back-to-back President Cup titles in 1973 and 1974 collecting an impressive 359 points in 179 career games. He remains the youngest player in QMJHL history to score a goal at 14 years and 353 days during his first season with the Remparts. Chouinard was selected in the second round of the 1974 Amateur Draft by the Atlanta Flames and played parts of 10 NHL seasons competing in 578 games producing 575 points. He was enshrined into the QMJHL Hall of Fame in 2005 as a Builder, and on December 17, 2016, was honoured by the Remparts with a number seven jersey retirement ceremony as part of the club’s 20th anniversary celebrations.
Lacroix and Pichette share the unique distinction of both playing QMJHL and NHL seasons in Quebec for the Remparts and Nordiques. Lacroix, a Sainte-Foy native, enjoyed a four-year QMJHL career including two full seasons with the Remparts beginning in 1975. He finished his career in Trois-Rivieres where he was chosen by the Nordiques in the fifth round of the 1979 Entry Draft following a 137-point campaign. His four-year NHL career was played primarily in Quebec where he suited up for 218 games with the Nordiques. Pichette’s career with the Remparts followed that of Lacroix as the Grand Falls, NF, native joined the club in 1978 where he played two seasons. Their NHL careers crossed paths with the Nordiques where Pichette played 189 games from 1980-84.
Boucher, a former QMJHL Rookie of the Year, is currently in his fourth season with the Remparts following a professional career that included 748 NHL games between 1992 and 2009. Ducharme, who recently earned silver as head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team, is in his first season with the Voltigeurs following five seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads where he captured a Mastercard Memorial Cup title and Coach of the Year honours in 2013.
2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Staff:
TEAM CHERRY :
Head Coach – Simon Gagné
Assistant Coach – Pierre Lacroix
Assistant Coach – Philippe Boucher (Quebec Remparts)
Athletic Therapist – Steve Bélanger (Quebec Remparts)
Equipment Manager – Stephane Savard (Quebec Remparts)
TEAM ORR :
Head Coach – Guy Chouinard
Assistant Coach – Dave Pichette
Assistant Coach – Dominique Ducharme (Drummondville Voltigeurs)
Athletic Therapist – Maxime Provencher (Rimouski Oceanic)
Equipment Manager – Bryan St-Louis (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)
The 2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is proudly supported by title partner Sherwin-Williams, and CHL associate sponsors CIBC, Cooper Tire, and autoTRADER.ca. The game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
Tickets are still available through the box office at 1-855-790-1245 or visit Ticketmaster to purchase online.
For more information please visit http://sherwin-williamstopprospects.ca.
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