Wisconsin hockey fans hoping to get a peek at the future will get their chance on Thursday, as recruits Brock Boeser and Luke Opilka will play on national TV at the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game. The game will take place in Buffalo, N.Y., at the First Niagara Center, home to the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres..
Thursday's game will be shown live on the NHL Network, starting at 6 p.m. CT.
The third annual game will pit Team Grier, named after former Boston University star Mike Grier, against Team Olczyk, the former NHL star and current NBC hockey analyst. Opilka is on Team Grier, while Boeser will skate for Team Olczyk.
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.
"This game has developed into an exciting opportunity for the best players in the United States to showcase their skills on a national stage," said Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations. "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."
Opilka, a goaltender out of St. Louis, currently plays between the pipes for the U.S. NTDP U-18 team in Ann Arbor. Opilka was recently rated as a "B" player by NHL Central Scouting, meaning he is a candidate to be selected in the second or third round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Opika is a 2015 Wisconsin recruit.
Like Opilka, Boeser is also slated to put on a Badger sweater next fall. Boeser is also highly thought of by NHL scouts, and was also given a "B" rating by NHL Central Scouting. Boeser, a forward out of Burnsville, Minnesota, will spend his senior season of high school with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League.
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