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Sabres interested in showcasing USA Hockey prospects again

The original point of the All-American Prospects Game was to display U.S. kids to NHL scouts. With more than 150 talent evaluators in Buffalo to witness the inaugural event, USA Hockey scored.

“I think in the end, we could not have been more pleased," Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, said in a statement regarding the Sept. 29 game. “For an inaugural effort, our feedback has been extremely positive from fans, players, scouts, media and our sponsors.”

The full impact of the game won’t be felt until June, when NHL teams decide whether to draft the 38 players who competed in First Niagara Center. In the meantime, USA Hockey and the Buffalo Sabres will decide whether to turn the prospect showcase into an annual event.

“We are very interested in hosting again,” Sabres President Ted Black said today via email.

Said Ogrean: “Our staff is in the process of fully reviewing all aspects of the game, and we'll make a decision on the way forward likely by the end of the year.”

Attendance was disappointing for the event, with an announced crowd of 5,519 translating to about half that inside the arena. But from the beginning, the Sabres said the event was not about ticket sales. It was about building a stronger relationship with USA Hockey and showing the prospects a first-class time.

A private gathering the night before the game, which included a pep talk from Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, and a tour of the Sabres’ locker room and training area connected with the players.

“Going out on the ice in an NHL building was pretty surreal,” defenseman Ian McCoshen said. “It is a pretty spectacular facility that the Buffalo Sabres have.”

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |