By MEDICINE HAT NEWS on January 24, 2024.
Medicine Hat Tigers forward Andrew Basha will have some bright lights and important eyes on him tonight.
The 18-year-old Calgary forward is suiting up for Team Red at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game hosted in Moncton, N.B. Basha is one of 40 selected players from the CHL to be divided into two teams and play in front of scouts and fans.
The puck drops on the prospects game at 4:30 p.m. MST and can be streamed on TSN or on CHL TV.
Ahead of tonight’s game, the prospects in attendance took part in on- and off-ice testing with a variety of different skills and strengths showcased.
The sport testing combine conducted by the Okanagan Hockey Group offered all players the chance to showcase their individual strengths while gauging their fitness and skill levels among their peers for NHL management and scouts to evaluate.
On-ice tests included forward and backward sprints, weave agility, transition agility and reaction drills performed with and without the puck.
Basha spoke with the media after training, and in a clip shared on the Western Hockey League’s social medias, shared his thoughts on the testing day and his excitement for the top prospect game.
“Of course it’s nerve-wracking, anytime you have a lot of people watching you do those tests you’ve never done before,” Basha said. “It’s probably nerve-wracking but it was good. I am happy to have that over with and can focus on the game tomorrow.”
Basha will suit up with eight other WHL players on Team Red, including fellow 2005-born forward Regina Pats captain Tanner Howe and Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Charlie Elick.
“I’m pumped, it’s been a long time coming for this, I’ve had the game marked on my calendar for a while now.”
Tigers forward Cayden Lindstrom was invited to play at the game but could not attend after undergoing surgery for his hand injury Jan. 16.
Associate coach Joe Frazer says they will be tuned in for the game and keeping an eye out for No. 34 in red.
“It’s going to be awesome, I was texting with him Monday night and he was excited,” Frazer said. “Basha had a great game in Regina, he was going after it, he was attacking and he was making plays. So it was coming off a great game and we’re pumped for him and we’re going to be cheering for him.”
Basha is expected to be back in the Medicine Hat lineup Friday when they head to Moose Jaw to face the Warriors.