Prospects looking good

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

Ottawa 67's winger Jamie McGinn got a promotion yesterday.

Next week, he and 39 other top prospects for this year's NHL draft will get a chance to promote themselves.

McGinn, 17, found out yesterday he will be playing on the 67's top line with Joe Talbot and Chris Hulit in place of winger Bryan Bickell, who was traded Monday.

It was also announced yesterday McGinn is one of the top 40 prospects who will participate in the 2006 Home Hardware CHL Top Prospects Game at the Corel Centre next Wednesday.

SHOWCASE EVENT

"I'm pretty nervous going into this," said McGinn, who was on hand yesterday at the Corel Centre for the announcement. "I know I had a bad start (nine goals in 35 games so far) and I want to have a strong finish. I'm relieved to get picked for this. Hopefully, I'll be able to show what I can do."

The game features the top prospects from the CHL.

Several of the top players for this draft play outside the CHL this year, including American Phil Kessel, regarded as the top pick, who didn't do himself any favours with his performance at the world junior championships, said one scout. He's a freshman at the University of Minnesota.

Czech winger Michal Frolik and Canadian Jonathon Toews, who's at the University of North Dakota and played for victorious Team Canada at the WJC, are regarded by many scouts to round out the top three.

Tops in the CHL and named to play in the Top Prospects Game next week are Peterborough Petes forward Jordan Staal and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles forward James Sheppard.

The players will be divided into two teams, to be coached by Bobby Orr and Don Cherry (with 67's coach and GM Brian Kilrea and 67's assistant Bert O'Brien "assisting.")

"This is not a hugs and kisses all-star game," said 67's owner Jeff Hunt. "These kids are playing for their career and their futures. It's real hockey. Bobby Orr and Don Cherry take it seriously."

Hunt said there will also be a number of fundraising initiatives on behalf of former 67 Sebastien Savage, paralyzed on an on-ice accident earlier this season.

The game will be preceded by a luncheon and skills competition Tuesday. Tickets for the game and skills competition are $25 ($15 for groups of 15 or more). Tickets can be purchased through capitaltickets.ca, by calling 599-FANS or 1-877-788-FANS, at Ottawa-Gatineau area Sports Experts locations or the Corel Centre box office.


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