BUFFALO -- Colin Campbell, NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations, announced Monday the annual NHL Combine will take place in Buffalo in 2015 and 2016 at First Niagara Center, home of the Buffalo Sabres, and the soon-to-be completed HarborCenter.
"We've been working on this announcement for a couple of years," Campbell said. "[Sabres President] Ted Black and myself had a conversation at least two years ago now regarding bringing our combine to Buffalo. I had a discussion with our director of scouting, Danny Marr, and it just seemed like a natural fit with what Terry and Kim Pegula are doing now with this location. It's certainly opening up the eyes of the people in the National Hockey League, and I think it's a natural fit to bring our National Hockey League Combine here."
The annual event, held in Toronto since 1999, is overseen by NHL Central Scouting. It brings approximately 100 top prospects for the NHL draft into one place for interviews with NHL teams, and medical and physical testing. The 2014 combine featured 119 prospects taking part in five days of interviews and medical exams held at the Westin Bristol Place hotel, followed by fitness testing nearby at The International Centre.
Campbell said the bidding process to host the event was opened to all NHL teams, and the finalists were the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Sabres. HarborCenter, which will open in the fall adjacent to First Niagara Center, gave Buffalo the edge.