The hockey market in Buffalo is continuing to develop, as evidenced by the city’s hosting of the IIHF World Junior Championships several years ago and then the hosting of the inaugural CCM All-American Prospects Game back in 2012. Now, USA Hockey is bringing the prospects game back to Buffalo for both 2014 and 2015, USA Hockey announced Tuesday morning.
Teams for the game are rostered by American players who are eligible for the following year’s NHL Entry Draft. Buffalo hosted the first All-American Prospects game in 2012, while Pittsburgh hosted the game last year. Now, it’s coming back to Buffalo – twice.
The 2014 game will be held on September 25 of this year and will feature a number of US-born players currently playing in leagues such as the USHL and National Team Development Program, all of whom are eligible to be selected in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
The date for the 2015 game will be announced at a later time, but that game will feature prospects for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
In this morning’s announcement, it was noted that Buffalo Sabres season ticket holders will receive a complimentary ticket for each game.
Notable names who participated in the 2012 All-American Prospects game in Buffalo include a trio of now-Sabres prospects. J.T. Compher participated in the game and has now played in the IIHF World Junior Championships, despite missing out on this year’s tournament due to a broken foot.
Buffalo native Justin Bailey – also now a Sabres prospect – who currently plays with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, also participated in the game, as did goaltender Cal Petersen.
Other notable players who were on the rosters for the 2012 game include Seth Jones, who was drafted 4th overall by the Nashville Predators and is now playing in the NHL. Michael McCarron was a U.S. NTDP player who was later drafted by the Montreal Canadiens and is now a part of the OHL’s London Knights. Winnipeg Jets prospect Jimmy Lodge, Vancouver Canucks prospect Cole Cassels, Los Angeles Kings prospect Hudson Fasching, Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Adam Erne – the list goes on and on.
The All-American Prospects Game is a great glimpse into some of the top future American players, coming together from a variety of leagues – OHL, USNTDP, WHL, QMJHL, college hockey, etc. The event offers fans a way to scout some present and future World Juniors players as well.
Trust me, the All-American Prospects Game won’t be the last you see of these guys. More information about the games, ticket information and the rosters and coaching staff will be revealed as the games get closer.