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Giants Host Top Prospects Game

Photo Credit S. Erickson

Morning came early for two Vancouver Giant players who were part of the official presentation for the CHL/NHL Kubota Top Prospects Game on January 25th.

Special guests included Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Michael Buble, Stan Smyl, Giants Head Coach Michael Dyck as well as local guests.

The MC for the event was “good friend” Brook Ward who has a way to introduce everyone in his own unique style while adding fun to the proceedings.

The event was “kicked-off” after a meet and greet with those in attendance with both Daniel and Henrik being introduced first followed by Stan “Steamer” Smyl.

Everyone in attendance was impressed with the line-up of those on the stage who were having a one on one with Brook giving some direct answers to any and all questions.

Once the Q&A was over it was time for a one on one with those who were on hand to talk about the event played at the Langley Events Centre.

Personally, I had the chance to chat with Michael Buble for a quick chat as you can only imagine the demand on his time, but he was gracious enough to chat while talking about his passion for the game.

Michael Buble & Steve

While players from all three leagues were named first the final two names were two Vancouver Giant players who were also named to the roster taking part in the Kubota Top Prospects Game.

Samuel Honzek, who was given an “A” rating by NHL Central Scouting in their preliminary ratings, will be taking part in the game. 

Honzek leads the Giants, and WHL rookies in scoring this season with 16 goals and 25 assists for 41 points. 

Honzek was also named the WHL Rookie of the Month for November.

Jaden Lipinski was also added onto the roster. The Scottsdale, AZ native has 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points on the season and listed as a “C” rated prospect in the NHL Central Scouting preliminary ratings.

Vancouver Giants GM Barclay Parneta told the media “The Giants want to congratulate both of the players chosen by the NHL to participate in the Kubota Top Prospect Game.” 

He continued “Samuel has transitioned exceptionally well to the WHL. His power and skill have set him apart and we look forward to his continued growth in the WHL with the Vancouver Giants. Jaden continues to excel with great passion and work ethic on and off the ice. He is a focused, driven person that understands the work that goes into improving. Jaden has a great skill set with the ability to protect the puck. He is a player that the puck follows on the ice.” 

  • Previous Vancouver Giants to represent the Giants at the Top Prospects Game:
  •      Justin Sourdif (2020)
  •      Bowen Byram (2019) 
  •      Tyler Benson (2016)
  •      Ty Ronning (2016)
  •      Evander Kane (2009)
  •      Gilbert Brule (2005)

As if this wasn’t enough a press release sent out later in the day mentioned that Zack Ostapchuk will be on Team Canada’s roster at the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships.

He is a prospect of the Ottawa Senators and attending the World Juniors for a second time and was also a part of the Gold-Medal winning squad this past summer. 

The Giants captain has 10 goals and 19 assists so far this season for 29 points in just 21 games.

Giants Head Coach Michael Dyck “We’re really proud of Zack playing for his country again, and we know he’ll represent the Vancouver Giants organization well with Team Canada.”  

Previous Vancouver Giants to represent Canada at the WJC level

  •     Zack Ostapchuk (2022)
  •    Justin Sourdif (2022)
  •    Bowen Byram (2020, 2021)
  •    Brendan Gallagher (2012)
  •     Evander Kane (2009)
  •     Cody Franson (2007)
  •     Kenndal McArdle (2007)
  •       Michael Dyck – Assistant Coach (2021, 2022)
  •     Mike Burnstein – Trainer (2019, 2020, 2022)
  •      Don Hay – Head Coach (2012)


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