CHICAGO — Dubuque Fighting Saints forwards Zach Solow and Santeri Virtanen have been selected to play in front of USHL fans and scouts from all across the hockey world at the annual USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center on Tuesday, January 10 in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The event, once hosted by the Fighting Saints organization in 2015, showcases the top talent in the United States Hockey League which includes players of eligible draft age to be selected into the NHL as soon as this summer’s draft in Chicago. Last season, head coach/GM Jason Lammers, forward Willie Knierim, and current Saint Michael Boyle, then of the Sioux City Musketeers, all participated in the game in Omaha, Neb.
Solow (Northeastern University/Naples, Fla.) has been one of the league’s most electrifying offensive players this season. His 25 points rank third in league scoring behind fellow top prospects Eeli Tolvanen and Jack Adams. Solow is currently representing the United States at the World Junior A Challenge, and has a 13-game point streak with the Fighting Saints dating back to October 28.
Virtanen (Kirkkonummi, FIN) has not played a regular season game with the Fighting Saints yet due to injury, but he did suit up in two games in the preseason, where he added two assists. The Saints’ Phase II sixth-round selection has been named as a C-ranked skater on both of NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list. Virtanen has also represented Finland on the international stage multiple times, including this past summer at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
Since the game’s inception, 58 players have been selected in the NHL Draft, including former Saints Zemgus Girgensons and Mike Matheson, who were both chosen in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft held in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Coaches and support staff for the game will be announced at a later date.
Tickets for the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game are available for as low as $12.00. Contact the Sioux Falls Stampede at 763.528.5411. Tickets must be ordered before Monday, January 9 for the discount deal.