WICHITA FALLS, Texas - The Wichita Falls Wildcats will be well-represented at the upcoming North American Hockey League Top Prospects Tournament, presented by Easton, with five players from the team roster selected to participate in the event.
Defenseman Jake Townsend and forwards Nick Farmer, Max Reisinger and Tommy Apap will all represent the South Division at the annual event, slated for Feb. 23-25 at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, Mich. Additionally, first-year forward Austin Beaulieu will represent the Wildcats on the NAHL Selects squad, comprised solely of players eligible for the 2015 National Hockey League Draft.
"We are very excited for the five players who will represent us at the Top Prospects Tournament," said Wildcats Head Coach John LaFontaine, who will also serve as assistant coach for the South Division team. "All five of these players have the potential and ability to be impact performers at the Division I level, and this event is a great opportunity for them to capitalize on increased visibility and exposure."
This will be Townsend's first trip to the Top Prospects Tournament. The Colorado native has dressed in all 38 games for the Wildcats this season, posting eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points in the process, and earlier this season, became the highest-scoring defenseman in Wildcats history.
Farmer's selection to the Top Prospects Tournament marks his first as well, and it comes at a time when the veteran has been playing his best hockey. The third-year skater is currently second on the Wildcats in points with 38 (16 goals, 22 assists), and has already set new career-highs in goals, assists and points this year.
This will be Reisinger's first trip to the Top Prospects Tournament. The second-year skater has enjoyed a strong sophomore season thus far, setting new career-highs in goals (13), assists (9) and points (23) in 33 games played for the 'Cats.
Apap will also be heading to his first Top Prospects Tournament after a solid start to his junior career. The Michigan native has registered 25 points (six goals, 19 assists), and leads all first-year Wildcats forwards in plus-minus with a plus-12 mark.
For Beaulieu, his addition to the NAHL Selects squad marks an opportunity for the forward to showcase the skill set that has helped him post 15 goals and 19 assists for 34 points in 38 games played.
Showcasing players who have yet to make college commitments, the Top Prospects Tournament has become one of the most highly-scouted events of its kind. Last season, over 180 scouts attended the event, which featured almost every NHL team and NCAA Division I school. Over a third of the players that competed in last year's event ended up with a Division I opportunity.
The number of players each NAHL team sent to the tournament was determined based on each team's winning percentage within their group as of January 18, 2015. Over the course of the event, teams from the four NAHL divisions and a special fifth NAHL Selects team will each play in two games. The full schedule is below.
2015 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament Schedule
Monday, February 23rd:
North vs. Central, 1pm - NAHL Selects vs. Midwest, 4pm - South vs. NTDP-18, 7pm
Tuesday, February 24th: