BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Few NHL officials are as intimately involved with USA Hockey as Brian Burke, and the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager was one of the more than 100 NHL scouts and GMs in attendance for Saturday's inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game.
Like some others, Burke sees the game as the next logical step in USA Hockey's evolution as an elite developer of future NHL talent.
"I think USA Hockey had a vision 15 years ago when they started the [National Team Development Program]," Burke told NHL.com. "And they've built quality in the under-18s and they've built quality in the World Juniors and they've built quality in the Olympics, and this is the logical next step. Let's take the best kids and showcase them."
Looking at the number of scouts in the building, the base of talent is obvious.
"There are guys here that are going to be drafted real high," Burke said. "There are a lot of guys here that will play in the NHL and it's fun to see those guys before they make it."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK