COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The 2014 and 2015 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game will be held at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y., home of the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres, USA Hockey announced today. The 2014 edition will be played Sept. 25. The date for the 2015 game will be announced next year.
"We're extremely pleased to be returning to Buffalo, the site of the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects game in 2012," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "The enthusiasm and support for hockey in Western New York will provide a great environment for the future stars of the NHL who will play in this game. It's terrific to be working with the Sabres organization and we appreciate their continued commitment and support of hockey at all levels."
The CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects game includes 40 of the top American-born prospects eligible for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft facing off in a display of the top hockey talent from across the country.
The 2014 game will feature players eligible for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, while players in the 2015 game will be eligible for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Players will be chosen by USA Hockey, in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting, with the final rosters expected typically unveiled each August.
"Hosting the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game two years ago and now bringing it back to our city is central to our continuing strategy to transform Buffalo into an international hockey destination," said Ted Black, president of the Buffalo Sabres. "We are thrilled to again partner with USA Hockey to provide our terrific fan base with a glimpse at the future stars of the NHL."
Alumni from the 2012 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game played in Buffalo have already made an impact at both the NHL and international levels. Seth Jones (Plano, Texas) helped the U.S. National Junior Team win the gold medal at the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship and is currently in his rookie season with the NHL's Nashville Predators. Jones, as well as Michael McCarron (Macomb, Mich.) and Ryan Hartman (West Dundee, Ill.) were first round picks at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, while Hartman, Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis./Univ. of Denver), Hudson Fasching (Burnsville, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota), Ian McCoshen (Hudson, Wis./Boston College), Steve Santini (Mahopac, N.Y./Boston College) and Quentin Shore (Denver, Colo./Univ. of Denver) played on the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team.
Ticket information will be released at a later date. All Buffalo Sabres season ticket holders will receive a ticket to the event as part of their season ticket package at no additional cost.
NOTES: USA Hockey will unveil the CCM-designed uniforms for the game later this year. In addition, the coaches for the game are likely to be announced sometime prior to the 2014 NHL Entry Draft ... The second annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game was hosted by the Pittsburgh Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Sept. 26, 2013 ... Penguins alumni Mark Johnson and Joe Mullen served as head coaches for the game. Team Johnson defeated Team Mullen, 5-2.