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Kelowna Rockets forward Tij Iginla to play in CHL Top Prospects Game

One of the Kelowna Rockets’ top players will fittingly play in the CHL’s Top Prospects Game next month.

On Tuesday, the CHL announced the 40-player roster for the game, slated for Jan. 24 in Moncton, N.B.

And making the cut was 17-year-old forward Tij Iginla, who is second in Rockets scoring with 25 goals and 42 points through 32 games so far this season.

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The 40 players from across the CHL, including 14 from the WHL, will play before a plethora of NHL scouts, with hopes of improving their rankings for the NHL’s 2024 draft.

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NHL Central Scouting lists draft-eligible prospects into one of four categories: A prospects, B prospects, C prospects and players to watch.

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Fourteen skaters have A ratings, and will likely be selected in the first round of next year’s draft.

The Rockets say Iginla began the season as a B prospect, but was recently upgraded to an A prospect.

“He’s a dynamic offensive player and has speed and quickness that makes a difference and possesses natural offensive instincts and finishing ability,” Central Scouting vice-president Dan Marr told NHL.com.

“He’s a player you can’t keep your eyes off when he’s on the ice.”

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The CHL says 37 of the 40 players who took part in the 2023 Top Prospects Game in Langley were taken in the 2023 draft, led by Regina Pats forward Connor Bedard at first overall.

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On Monday, Iginla was named the WHL’s player of the week. The Lake Country product is currently riding a six-game point streak, having tallied six goals and 12 assists in that span.

The Top Prospects Game was first introduced in 1996 — one year after Iginla’s father, NHL legend Jarome Iginla, was drafted.

Playing for the Kamloops Blazers, Jarome Iginla was selected 11th overall in 1995 by the Dallas Stars.

But just months after being drafted, Iginla — in his third and final season with Kamloops — was traded to Calgary, with the Flames sending hold-out forward Joe Nieuwendyk and forward Corey Millen to Dallas for Iginla.

More information about the 40 players selected to the game is available online.

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