COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- USA Hockey announced today the 42 players who will compete in the third annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game set for Thursday, September 25 at First Niagara Center, home to the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres. Tickets for the game are just $10 and $7, and are now on sale.
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The game assembles the top U.S. players who are eligible for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Twenty-three players appeared on the 2014-15 NHL Central Scouting Futures List, which highlights players that have potential to be selected in the first three rounds of the draft.
“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.”
Among the 24 forwards are Kyle Connor (Shelby Township, Mich.) and Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.), who helped the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team capture the gold medal at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s Under-18 World Championship. Earlier this month, Connor and Eichel attended the 2014 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp. Eichel was a member of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team. Last season in the United States Hockey League, Connor was an All-USHL First Team selection and Eichel was selected to the All-USHL Second Team. In August, Karch Bachman (Wolcotville, Ind.), Brock Boeser (Burnsville, Minn.), Erik Foley (Mansfield, Mass.), Brent Gates (Alameda, Calif.), Tanner Laczynski (Shorewood, Ill.), Thomas Novak (River Falls, Wis.), Ryan Smith (Roanoke, Va.), Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Dennis Yan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) helped the U.S. Under-18 Select Team take third place at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.
The defense corps boasts Noah Hanifin (Norwood, Mass.), who joined Connor and Eichel on the gold-medal winning U.S. squad at the 2014 IIHF Men’s Under-18 World Championship. Brandon Carlo (Colorado Springs, Colo.) took part in the 2014 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in early August. Doug Blaisdell (Dearborn Heights, Mich.), Joseph Cecconi (Youngstown, NY), Tory Dello (Crystal Lake, Ill.) and Grant Gabriele (Brighton, Mich.) contributed to the third-place performance by the U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.
Thirty-one players have ties to the United States Hockey League, the top junior league in the U.S., including 20 players from USA Hockey's National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. Two players are slated to play the 2014-15 season in the North American Hockey League, which is the only Tier-II level of junior hockey in the U.S.
NOTES: Seventeen states plus Washington, D.C., are represented on the roster. Michigan and Massachusetts lead the way with nine and six players, respectively. Illinois, Minnesota and New York have four players apiece. Other states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin … Players selected to compete in the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game were chosen by USA Hockey in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting ... Head coaches for the game will be announced in early September … CCM-designed uniforms will be unveiled in mid September … The Buffalo Sabres and First Niagara Center are hosting the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game for the second time. They staged the inaugural event Sept. 29, 2012, when Team McClanahan beat Team Housley, 5-2.