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Leetch, Chelios to coach at All-American Prospects Game

Tkachuk, Hughes expected to be among top U.S. prospects for 2018 NHL Draft at event

NHL.com @NHL

Hockey Hall of Fame defensemen Chris Chelios and Brian Leetch will be the coaches for the 2017 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game.

The game, which will feature 42 of the top United States-born prospects for the 2018 NHL Draft, will be played at Key Bank Center in Buffalo on Sept. 21.

Video: Brian Leetch first American to win Conn Smythe

"It is only fitting that a game aimed to showcase the future of American hockey be coached by two of the greatest American players to ever play," USA Hockey assistant executive director of hockey operations Jim Johansson said. "As we've already seen with former Prospects Game players, many of the players in the game will go on to star in the NHL, and fans are also likely to see some players that will be back in Buffalo in December to represent our country in the [2018 IIHF] World Junior Championship."

Rosters for the game will be announced by USA Hockey, in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting, in the next few weeks.

Among the players likely to be at the game are Boston University freshman forward Brady Tkachuk, University of Michigan freshman defenseman Quinton Hughes and forward Oliver Wahlstrom of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. All three players are considered candidates to be selected in the first round of the 2018 Draft and took part in the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase earlier this month, the first step in the U.S. picking its team for the 2018 WJC.

Video: Chris Chelios was fierce defender in 26-season career

Chelios played 1,651 games with the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Atlanta Thrashers in 26 NHL seasons, most among U.S.-born NHL players and sixth all-time. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013. Chelios is currently an assistant coach for the Detroit Red Wings and will be an assistant coach for the U.S. at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

Leetch is second among U.S.-born NHL defensemen with 1,028 points (247 goals, 781 assists) in 1,205 games with the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

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