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Tkachuk, Wahlstrom among names to watch for All-American Prospects Game

Event features 42 top United States-born players eligible for 2018 NHL Draft

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

BUFFALO -- Forwards Brady Tkachuk and Oliver Wahlstrom, each a projected first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, will lead opposing teams at the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at KeyBank Center on Thursday.

The sixth annual game features 42 of the top United States-born players chosen by USA Hockey in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting.

"The game has an interesting mix of draft-eligible prospects from all levels of hockey and from all areas of the country," said Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting. "These players bring quite a cross section of talent and they have been identified at this early stage of the season as some of the top prospects from the United States. It will give NHL scouts a good sneak preview of the 2018 NHL Draft class."

Tkachuk (6-foot-2, 194 pounds), who will play for Team Brian Leetch, is a freshman at Boston University and is considered a candidate to be a top-five pick. He had 54 points (25 goals, 29 assists) in 61 games for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program under-18 team last season. He is the son of United States Hockey Hall of Fame member Keith Tkachuk and brother of Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk.

"Tkachuk is a dynamic prototype of what a complete package of an NHL prospect looks like," Marr said. "He has speed, skill, athleticism, smarts and competitiveness. He consistently produces and rises to the occasion to excel in all areas of the game."

Joining Tkachuk on Team Leetch will be defenseman Quinton Hughes (5-foot-9, 167 pounds), a freshman at the University of Michigan. The left-handed shot, considered an exceptional skater with good vision and skill, had 53 points (10 goals, 43 assists) in 65 games for the NTDP U-18 last season.

"Hughes is a [defenseman] with NHL speed, quickness and smarts to handle and move the puck efficiently in all zones," Marr said. "He has the awareness, instincts and skills to execute plays. He's a smaller defenseman who possesses some key skills and assets which place him in the 'special prospect' category."

Wahlstrom (6-1, 205) will lead Team Chris Chelios. He'll play this season for NTDP U-18 after he had 25 points (14 goals, 11 assists) in 43 games for the NTDP U-17 team and 15 points (10 goals, five assists) in 20 games for NTDP U-18 last season. He's committed to Harvard University in 2018-19.

"Wahlstrom is a skilled player with pro hockey sense who plays with speed and a competitive drive to the net," Marr said. "He's always involved on the puck and involved in the plays. He makes things happen and has a good scoring touch."

Leetch will be assisted on the bench by NTDP U-18 assistant coach Nick Fohr. Chelios will be assisted by NTDP U-18 assistant coach Seth Appert.



GOALIES:Jacob Kucharski, Des Moines, USHL; Jon Mor, USA U-18, USHL

DEFENSEMEN: Stanislav Demin, Wenatchee, BCHL; Jordan Harris, Kimball Union, HIGH-NH; Quinton Hughes, University of Michigan, BIG10; Christian Krygier, Lincoln, USHL; Adam Samuelsson, USA U-18, USHL; Spencer Stastney, USA U-18, USHL; Bode Wilde, USA U-18, USHL

FORWARDS: Braden Costello, Des Moines, USHL; Jake Gricius, Portland, WHL; Curtis Hall, Youngstown, USHL; Blake McLaughlin, Chicago, USHL; Jaxon Nelson, Sioux Falls, USHL; Jacob Pivonka, USA U-18, USHL; Noah Prokop, Green Bay, USHL; Jack Randl, Omaha, USHL; Ryan Savage, Fargo, USHL; Colin Schmidt, Wayzata, HIGH-MN; Brady Tkachuk, Boston University, H-EAST; Jake Wise, USA U-18, USHL


GOALIES:Drew DeRidder, USA U-18, USHL; Ben Kraws, Buffalo Jr. Sabres U18, USMAAAE

DEFENSEMEN: Michael Callahan, Bloomington, USHL; Ty Emberson, USA U-18, USHL; Cole Krygier, Lincoln, USHL; K'Andre Miller, USA U-18, USHL; Alec Regula, Chicago, USHL; Mattias Samuelsson, USA U-18, USHL; Jacob Semik, Dubuque, USHL

FORWARDS: Paul Cotter, Lincoln, USHL; Jack Drury, Waterloo, USHL; Joel Farabee, USA U-18, USHL; Jonathan Gruden, USA U-18, USHL; Gavin Hain, USA U-18, USHL; Jack Jensen, Eden Prairie, HIGH-MN; Philippe Lapointe, Lincoln, USHL; Jay O'Brien, Thayer Academy, HIGH-MA; Ryan O'Reilly, Madison, USHL; Jackson Perbix, Elk River, HIGH-MN; Oliver Wahlstrom, USA U-18, USHL; Tyler Weiss, USA U-18, USHL

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