Future Badgers Ford, Malone, Wagner skating in U.S. Top Prospects game tonight

Seamus Malone plays the puck behind the net in a USHL game last season. - Top Shelf Shots / Serena Dalhamer

The second annual U.S. Top Prospects game will be held in Pittsburgh tonight, and can be watched live for free on Fast Hockey.

Wisconsin recruits Keegan Ford, Seamus Malone and Ryan Wagner will be featured on a premier stage Thursday night, as they take the ice for the second annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects game. The event features 40 of the top American prospects eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft.

Malone (Naperville, Ill.) and Ford (Waunakee, Wis.) are members of the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League. The duo helped lead the Fighting Saints to both the regular and post season USHL championships last year.

Ford, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound defenseman, registered four goals and 17 points in 51 games and was +22 for Dubuque last season while registering 94 penalty minutes. Malone, a 5-foot-9, 174-pound forward, collected eight goals and 30 points in 59 games and was +13 while adding 44 penalty minutes.

Wagner (Park Ridge, Ill.) won a USA Hockey national championship as a leading scorer for the Chicago Mission U-16 team. This fall, the 5-foot-8, 173-pound Wagner accepted a spot with the U.S. National Team Development Program, where he is playing on their U-18 team.

The game takes place tonight at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., home of the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins.

Pittsburgh is an interesting fit for one of the coaches tonight. Wisconsin women's head coach, Mark Johnson, will coach the U.S. "White" team, while Joe Mullen will coach the "Blue" squad. Of course Mark is the son of the legendary Bob Johnson, who won a Stanley Cup as head coach of the Penguins in 1991.

There is a free live stream of the game available online tonight via FastHockey.com. Coverage starts at 5:45 CT.

Other uncommitted players to watch tonight include U.S. National Under-18 Team members Nolan Stevens and Jack Dougherty, as well as Burnsville (Minn.) forward Tyler Sheehy and Cushing Academy's Michael Turner (Chicago, Ill.).

Mequon, Wis., native and Notre Dame recruit Anders Bjork and Verona, Wis., native and North Dakota recruit Nick Schmaltz will also play tonight.

For more hockey coverage, follow Andy on Twitter --
You can also reach Andy via e-mail (AndyJohnsonB5Q@gmail.com)

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