Back in 2012, the city of Buffalo hosted the inaugural CCM/USA All-American Prospects game at the First Niagara Center. American hockey had grown to the point where they not only could host but deserved to host their own showcase for the best and brightest young talents playing under the stars and bars. It was a very cool event, and the fact that it came to Buffalo was a sign that, under new management, things would be getting better.
Fast forward two years, and things are getting better, though maybe not in the way Sabres fans anticipated. The team on the ice is significantly less talented than they were two years ago, but management and the city itself are in better shape than they were in 2012. The hiring of Tim Murray and Ted Nolan has stabilized management, and they'll certainly be watching these talented youngsters, seeing as how they have a good chance of drafting at least one of them. Buffalo itself is also on the up-and-up, with the HARBORCenter project next door moving us one step closer toward the promise of Hockey Heaven.
All in all, tonight should be a great experience for the players and fans alike.
Rosters: On the ice, 42 of America's best will compete, including top center Jack Eichel, and the teams will be coached by Eddie Olczyk and Buffalo favorite Mike Grier. You can find the complete roster for Team Olczyk here, featuring top defenseman Noah Hanifin, while Team Grier's roster, featuring Eichel, can be found here.
Viewing Info: The game will be broadcast by NHL Network, and begins at 7pm. You can also follow along with the many Buffalo beat reporters on Twitter, and DBTB will be up in the press box as well, so make sure to follow along with us on Twitter and Facebook. The official Twitter handle for the event will be @USAHockey.
Will you be at the game tonight? Who are you most excited to watch? Have any questions about the prospects involved? Sound off in the comments, and we'll see you back here tonight.