USA Hockey announced Wednesday 42 players will compete in the third annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game set for Sept. 25 at First Niagara Center.
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.
Buffalo will host not only the 2014 All-American game but also the 2015 game.
“This game has developed into an exciting opportunity for the best players in the United States to showcase their skills on a national stage,” Jim Johannson, USA Hockey’s assistant executive director of hockey operations, said in a release. “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 Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) and Kyle Connor (Shelby Township, Mich.), 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.
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.
Among the defensemen is Western New York native Joseph Cecconi of Youngstown; Cecconi contributed to the third-place performance by the U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.
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.
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.
Amerks at First Niagara Oct. 29
The Rochester Americans will once again play a home game at First Niagara Center, this year on Wednesday, Oct. 29 against the Hamilton Bulldogs at 7:05 p.m.
The Amerks will open AHL play on Oct. 10, hosting the Adirondack Flames, Calgary’s top farm team that moved from Abbortsford, B.C. in the offseason. The Flames will play in the North Division of the Western Conference along with Rochester, Hamilton, Utica and Toronto.