Since the 2004-05 season, In The Game’s Heroes and Prospects set has featured players from the Canadian Hockey League and American Hockey League. The set returns for its latest edition on January 11.
“When we first released Heroes and Prospects six years ago, the reaction from collectors was incredibly positive and we have tried to make the product stronger with each passing season,” said In The Game’s President, Dr. Brian H. Price. “We spent a lot of time developing the checklist and listening to collectors and I think this year’s set was truly made for them.”
Last week, International Scouting Services released an updated list of their top 30 prospects heading into the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and many of them are a part of the 2010-11 edition of Heroes and Prospects.
Sean Couturier of the Drummondville Voltigeurs was rated first overall on the list and he is featured in not only the base card set, but also on Autograph, Game-Used Memorabilia and Autographed Game-Used Memorabilia cards! He will also be on Canada’s roster for the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, New York. Couturier was followed by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels, who could certainly make a push for the top spot as well.
There are also a few international prospects in Heroes and Prospects this year and two of them have the potential to go in the top 10 picks at the Draft. Adam Larsson was ranked third by ISS and Victor Rask came in at number 10. Both are presently playing in Sweden and should garner a great deal of attention from scouts over the next few months.
“We take great pride in our ability to track down some of the greatest young players from all over the world,” said Price. “It sometimes takes a great deal of research to find these players, but it is ultimately worth the effort as the product becomes stronger.”
The Ontario Hockey League also has three big potential draftees on cardboard as well with Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan Murphy of the Kitchener Rangers and Brandon Saad of the Saginaw Spirit making their Heroes and Prospects debuts.
Other potential first round picks that are part of Heroes and Prospects this season include Dougie Hamilton (Niagara IceDogs), Matthew Puempel (Peterborough Petes), David Musil (Vancouver Giants), Tomas Jurco (Saint John Sea Dogs), Shane McColgan (Kelowna Rockets) and Ty Rattie (Portland Winter Hawks). Most of these players are in the 150-card base set but some will have game-used memorabilia cards only until the Update Set is released in late Spring, 2011.
Some of the players listed above could also potentially be a part of the Class of 2011 non-memorabilia insert set that returns again this season. Last year, In The Game introduced the interactive concept but has now created a “mystery element”. Each card will have a letter on the front which will represent a player to be announced two weeks after the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
Additionally, Heroes and Prospects also features some of the AHL’s top rookie performers from the 2010-11 season. There are 14 freshmen in the base set, including players that are already seeing NHL action such as Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Marlies, Kevin Shattenkirk of the Lake Erie Monsters and Linus Omark of the Oklahoma City Barons. Other first-year stars featured include Luke Adam (Portland Pirates), Ryan McDonagh (Connecticut Whale), Cody Hodgson (Manitoba Moose) and Jussi Rynnas (Toronto Marlies).
For a complete checklist and additional information about 2010-11 Heroes and Prospects, go to www.itgtradingcards.com.