Philadelphia to host USA Hockey’s CCM All-American Prospects Game

The future of USA Hockey is coming to Philadelphia.

USA Hockey announced that the CCM All-American Prospects Game will be held at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Sept. 22, 2016.

"This event is terrific in multiple ways," Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey, said. "It's a great showcase for the American player and highlights how far the sport has come in our country. It also gives us an opportunity to have some of the great American players of the past behind the bench to serve as coaches. And finally, it's fun for the fans to have the chance to see the next generation of elite players in our country, many who will wind up in the NHL.

"To showcase roughly 40 of our top American players in this environment is extremely exciting for us. To do it in Philadelphia, one of the heart and soul areas of grassroots hockey and USA Hockey, is vital for us as well."

“On behalf of the Flyers organization, we are thrilled to be able to host such a great event as this," Flyers president Paul Holmgren said. "Flyers fans, and hockey fans in general, will have the unique opportunity to see NHL stars of the future compete here at the Wells Fargo Center. We are sure fans are going to have a great time watching such a spectacle.

"There’s so many exciting things continuing to grow and to happen within USA Hockey across the country," Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. "Thank you to Jimmy and the entire staff at USA Hockey for bringing this event to our building. The passionate fan base that we have along with the Wells Fargo Center as the venue, this is going to be a tremendous event."

The Flyers will serve as the hosts of the event, a game that has previously featured some of the top young American players such as Johnny Gaudreau, Jack Eichel, Seth Jones and Dylan Larkin.

Larkin, among this year’s top rookies in the NHL, is in town with the Detroit Red Wings, who face the Flyers on Tuesday night. Larkin spoke briefly about his experience in the game from 2014.

"I was lucky enough to play in Pittsburgh in the 2014 CCM Prospects Game," Larkin said. "It really kickstarted my draft year. I had the chance to play in front of tons of NHL executives and GMs and scouts and I was lucky enough to have a good game and get my name out there. It was a great atmosphere, first-class event, I was lucky enough to be a part of it."

Holmgren and Hakstol each credited the growth of the game nationwide and the work of USA Hockey as the reason that the event is even possible.

"Probably the first player picked this year is going to be a kid from Phoenix, Az," Holmgren said, referring to Auston Matthews. "That’s what’s been happening with USA Hockey over the last number of years. How far hockey has come in the United States of America is incredible. We have a lot of neat things planned for our 50th anniversary going into next year and this will be one of the kickoff events."

"We’re seeing the growth of hockey across the country just absolutely explode," Hakstol said. "You’re seeing top players, top athletes from every corner of the United States that are growing up within the game. We have the opportunity right here in our own building to see 40 of those top prospects that are working hard toward putting themselves in the best possible position for the 2017 NHL Draft, that’s a lot of exciting stuff going on."

Tickets for the event will go on sale on Thursday, March 17, at 10 a.m. through the Wells Fargo Center box office.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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