(Photos: Troy Young)
WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Three Wildcats have been selected to represent the South Division at the 2014 North American Hockey League Top Prospects Tournament, presented by Easton.
Defenseman Sam Piazza, forward Kyle Bauman and goaltender David Zevnik will all take part in the annual event scheduled for Feb. 17-19 in Troy, Mich.
This will be Piazza’s first appearance at the Top Prospects Tournament. The Wildcats captain has four goals and 17 assists for 21 points in 39 games played, making him one of the league-leaders in defensive scoring.
“Sam has grown as a person, leader and player in the year he has been in Wichita Falls,” Wildcats Head Coach Paul Baxter said. “Because of his vision, skating ability and stick skills, he has the potential to be a top-four defenseman at the Division I level.
Zevnik will also be making his first trip to the Top Prospects Tournament. The first-year netminder is 13-9-1 in 26 games played, and is among the league-leaders in both goals against average (1.93) and save percentage (.926).
“Zevnik has been a winner and champion wherever he has played. He has good technical and tactical traits, is very athletic and possesses strong mental skills,” Baxter said. “His numbers and ability make him a solid D-I prospect.”
Bauman will be making his second appearance in the Top Prospects Tournament after his selection in 2013. The Apopka, Fla.-native leads the Wildcats in goals (14), and is second on the team in points (25).
“Kyle is a dynamic skater and puck-handler with a really strong shot release,” said Baxter. “We believe he has the potential to be an impact player at the D-I level”
Last season, over 170 scouts attended the Top Prospects Tournament, which featured almost every NHL team and NCAA Division I school. Only players without an NCAA commitment are eligible to participate in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, with the exception of those who will be playing on the NAHL 18U Selects team.
2014 NAHL Top Prospects schedule:
Feb. 17th: North vs. South, 1pm – Central vs. Midwest, 3:30pm – NAHL 18U Selects vs. TBA, 6pm
Feb. 18th: Central vs. South, 1pm – Midwest vs. North, 3:30pm – NAHL 18U Selects vs. USNTDP U17 6pm