SAINT PAUL, Minn. - The 2018 USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, which features the top 40 American-born prospects eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, will be hosted by the Minnesota Wild and Xcel Energy Center on Wed., Sept. 19, it was announced today by USA Hockey.
The seventh annual contest, which will be staged in Minnesota for the very first time, is set for a 7 p.m. faceoff.
"We look forward to bringing this event to Minnesota," said Pat Kelleher, executive director for USA Hockey. "The game is a terrific showcase of American hockey and fans will get an early look at players they will soon see in the NHL. This year's game is also likely to include Jack Hughes, who most scouts today project as the top pick in the 2019 NHL Draft."
"On behalf of the Wild organization, we're thrilled to host the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game," said Matt Majka, president of the Minnesota Wild. "We're sure fans will enjoy this unique opportunity to see the future stars of the NHL all on one sheet of ice."
Six AAPG alumni have been drafted by the Minnesota Wild, including current Wild players Louie Belpedio (Skokie, Ill.), Jordan Greenway (Canton, N.Y.) and Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.).
In total, 23 Minnesota natives have participated in an All-American Prospects Game. Six of those Minnesotans went on to become first-round NHL selections, including Eden Prairie's Casey Mittelstadt (2017, Buffalo Sabres, 8th overall), Edina's Kieffer Bellows (2016, N.Y. Islanders, 19th overall), Burnsville's Brock Boeser (2014, Vancouver Canucks, 23rd overall), Ham Lake's Riley Tufte (2016, Dallas Stars, 25th overall) and Lakeville natives Ryan Poehling (2017, Montreal Canadiens, 25th overall) and Jake Oettinger (2017, Dallas Stars, 26th overall).
To date, 127 alumni of the All-American Prospects Game have been drafted in the NHL, including 30 first-round selections and 46 players who have already made NHL debuts. Standouts Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres), Noah Hanifin (Carolina Hurricanes), Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings), Seth Jones (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Zach Werenski (Columbus Blue Jackets) are among the current NHL starts that have played in the game previously. In addition, last year's most valuable player, Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.), is considered among the top American prospect eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft that will take place June 22-23 in Dallas.
NOTES: The final rosters for the All-American Prospects Game will be named in August ... Previous coaches for the All-American Prospects Game include Phil Housley and Rob McClanahan in 2012; Mark Johnson and Joe Mullen in 2013; Mike Grier and Eddie Olczyk in 2014; Derek Plante and Jeremy Roenick in 2015; Mark Howe and John LeClair in 2016 and Chris Chelios and Brian Leetch last year ... Previous host sites for the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game include Buffalo, New York (2012, 2014, 2015, 2017), Pittsburgh (2013) and Philadelphia (2016) ... For more information on the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, click here.