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Eichel tops list for All-American Prospects Game

by Mike G. Morreale

Boston University freshman center Jack Eichel headlines the list of invites to the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, to be held Sept. 25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y.

Eichel is one of 42 American-born 2015 NHL Draft prospect scheduled to participate in the game. The 17-year-old center is expected to be one of the top two picks at the 2015 draft.

Last season he led the United States National Team Development Program Under-18 team with 38 goals and 87 points in 53 games. He also had one goal and four assists for the U.S. at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship. He's expected to play a major role for the United States at the 2015 WJC in Montreal and Toronto. He impressed U.S. national junior team coach Mark Osiecki at USA Hockey's evaluation camp earlier this month.

"Jack Eichel is an offensive player and we have to hold him accountable offensively," Osiecki said. "He's a special player and we have to lean on him offensively to be that difference maker, be a player that can make everyone around him better; offensively for sure."

Boston University coach David Quinn said he's thrilled to have Eichel aboard.

"He's one of the most heralded incoming freshmen to come to Boston University in a long time," Quinn said. "He's not only a great player but a great kid and will have a lot to offer our program both on and off the ice."

Of the 42 players invited, 23 are listed on NHL Central Scouting's Futures List as potential first-, second-, or third-round draft choices, including college freshmen Eichel, Noah Hanifin (Boston College) and Zach Werenski (University of Michigan).

"This game has developed into an exciting opportunity for the best players in the United States to showcase their skills on a national stage," said Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations. "Input from the NHL scouting community is that this year's game will feature the highest level of talent to date for this event. We greatly appreciate the support of the Buffalo Sabres organization, which has proven to be an outstanding partner in this event."

There were 16 players invited to play that will skate for the USNTDP U-18 team in 2014-15, including forwards Jeremy Bracco, Christian Fischer, Mike Floodstrand, Jordan Greenway, Jack Roslovic, Troy Terry, Brendan Warren and Colin White, defensemen Nick Boka, Christian Evers, Casey Fitzgerald, Grant Gabriele, Caleb Jones and Steven Ruggiero and goalies Mike Lackey and Luke Opilka.

The players selected to compete were chosen by USA Hockey in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting. Coaches and rosters for each team, which will be comprised of two goalies, seven defensemen and 12 forwards, will be announced in September.



GOALIES: Ryan Bednard, Johnstown (NAHL); Mike Lackey, USA U-18 (USHL); Ryan Larkin, Michigan (NAHL); Luke Opilka, USA U-18 (USHL)

DEFENSEMEN: Doug Blaisdell, Kitchener (OHL); Nick Boka, USA U-18 (USHL); Brandon Carlo, Tri-City (WHL); Joseph Cecconi, Muskegon (USHL); Tory Dello, Tri-City (USHL); Christian Evers, USA U-18 (USHL); Casey Fitzgerald, USA U-18 (USHL); Grant Gabriele, USA U-18 (USHL); Noah Hanifin, Boston College (H-EAST); Caleb Jones, USA U-18 (USHL); Jack McNeely, Lakeville North (HIGH-MN); Steven Ruggiero, USA U-18 (USHL); Zachary Werenski, Michigan (BIG 10); Spenser Young, Dubuque (USHL)

FORWARDS: Cameron Askew, Moncton (QMJHL); Karch Bachman, Culver Academy (HIGH-IN); Alec Baer, Vancouver (WHL); Paul Bittner, Portland (WHL); Brock Boeser, Waterloo (USHL); Jeremy Bracco, USA U-18 (USHL); Kyle Connor, Youngstown (USHL); Taggert Corriveau, Westminster (HIGH-CT); Jack Eichel, Boston University (H-EAST); Christian Fischer, USA U-18 (USHL); Mike Floodstrand, USA U-18 (USHL); Erik Foley, Cedar Rapids (USHL); Brent Gates, Green Bay (USHL); Jordan Greenway, USA U-18 (USHL); Tanner Laczynski, Chicago (USHL); Connor Moynihan, Halifax (QMJHL); Thomas Novak, Waterloo (USHL); Chase Pearson, Youngstown (USHL); Jack Roslovic, USA U-18 (USHL); Ryan Smith, Green Bay (USHL); Troy Terry, USA U-18 (USHL); Brendan Warren, USA U-18 (USHL); Colin White, USA U-18 (USHL); Dennis Yan, Shawinigan (QMJHL)

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