The North American Prospects Showcase (NAPS) in Buffalo has been one of LGS Hockey’s longest-standing and most high-profile events of the summer calendar. A tournament that has featured the likes of future NHL superstars like Connor McDavid, Aaron Ekblad and Max Domi, NAPS regularly serves as breeding ground for the game’s next group of talented players. With 12 more champions to add to the history books, could one of these tournament teams feature the NHL’s next superstar?
In the 16U Division, Roc City Elite – Red went a perfect 6-0-0 on the weekend to win the 12-team championship. Roc City edged out the Syracuse Nationals 3-2 in the semifinal on Sunday morning before going on to defeat Eastern Elite in the championship.
The Toronto Knights took the ‘04 Division with a 5-1-0 record. After dropping their opening game of the tournament on Friday 7-6, the Knights rattled off five straight wins by outscoring opponents 26-to-7, including their 3-2 win over Evolve Hockey in the finale.
The ‘05 Elite Division went to Maroon HG after they went 6-0-0 during the tournament. Maroon scored five-or-more goals in every game over the weekend, including an eight-goal effort in the championship over East Coast Selects.
The only defeat the Wolf Pack suffered in the ‘05 AAA Division was a hotly contested shootout loss to the Buffalo Boys on Saturday morning. The eventual division champion would avenge that lone loss in the championship when the Wolf Pack knocked off Buffalo 4-3 to take the championship on Sunday.
Ottawa Myers Snipers survived one of the most competitive divisions of the tournament, going 6-0-0 to win the ‘06 Elite Division. Three of those victories were decided by just one goal, including the championship, a 4-3 decision over Maroon HG.
The ‘06 AAA Division started and ended with an SHD Midwest-vs-Buffalo Regals matchup. While the Regals took the first decision 4-2, it would be SHD winning five consecutive games including a 2-1 finale on Sunday over Buffalo to take the title.
It was a Selects showdown in the ‘07 Elite Division, with East Coast Selects defeating Midwest Selects 4-2 in the championship. With a 6-0-0 record, ECS proved to be the top team in the division from start to end, allowing just nine goals against in the tournament.
In the ‘07 AAA Division, Winona Ryders rolled through pool play, earning the top seed overall in the playoffs. From there, Winona went 6-0-0 finishing off the weekend with a 3-2 win in the championship game.
Midwest Selects earned the ‘08 Elite Division in yet another tight group of teams. After falling to East Coast Selects 5-1 in the final game of round-robin action, MWS returned in the championship game on Sunday to avenge the loss with a 4-2 victory over ECS.
After losing not one, but two games on the first day of the tournament, NorthStar Elite bounced back in a big way over the weekend. With four straight wins including an upset of the No. 1-seed in the four-team playoff, NorthStar won the ‘08 AAA Division with a 4-1 victory on Sunday.
An offensive effort led Mode Hockey to the ‘09 Division championship, scoring five-or-more goals in each game over the weekend. Their six goals in the championship were too much for Octane Elite – Primeau, as Mode finished the weekend 6-0-0 with 44 goals scored.
Speaking of offense, Future Prospects scored more goals than any other team in the tournament, racking up 48 goals in the ‘10 Division. An eight-goal effort in the finale capped off a perfect 6-0-0 weekend.
Octane Lewis survived pool-play by outscoring its opponents 11-to-9 in the final three games to earn the No. 1-seed. From there, Octane rolled its way through the finale to win the ‘11 Division championship over SHD Midwest.
The NAPS series continues this weekend with the girls’ event in Rochester and the Beantown tournament on the east coast. For more from NAPS or how you can get involved with this summer series, click HERE.