The game features the top American players eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft and this season, for the first time, the format has players from the U.S. National Under-18 Team of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program -- Team Knuble, taking on the top draft-eligible American-born players from the USHL, the lone Tier I junior league in the United States -- Team Gomez. The teams are named after the honorary coaches for the contest, retired NHL stars Mike Knuble (Kentwood, Mich.) and Scott Gomez (Anchorage, Alaska).
Of the 43 players playing tonight, 31 appear on the 2019-20 NHL Central Scouting Mid-Season Rankings list, which was released on Jan. 12, 2020 and highlights players that have potential to be selected in the 2020 NHL draft.
The 43 players participating in tonight's game hail from 20 different states. Michigan leads the way with five representatives, followed by California, Massachusetts, New York and Wisconsin with four each.
Forty players competing in tonight's game are committed to NCAA programs. Harvard University (ECAC) leads the field with five commitments, followed by the University of Michigan (Big Ten), Boston University (HEA) and the University of Notre Dame (Big Ten) that each have three.
Tonight's game will be broadcast on NHL Network with Stephen Nelson handling play-by-play duties along with longtime color commentator Craig Button and NHL Network’s Lauren Gardner as the rinkside reporter ... BioSteel Co-Founders Mike Cammalleri and John Celenza will take part in the ceremonial opening puck drop and will present the trophy to the game's Most Valuable Player. Cammalleri played three seasons at the University of Michigan (1999-2002). Drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2001 NHL Draft, Cammalleri enjoyed a 15-year career in the league, appearing in 906 games and tallying 642 career points (294-348) ... To date, alumni have gone on to become Calder Trophy Finalists, NHL All-Stars, earn NHL All-Star Game MVP honors and win the Stanley Cup. Currently, 63 alumni have already made their NHL debuts. For more on alumni of this event, see page 8 ... Among those in attendance tonight are USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations and U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member, John Vanbiesbrouck; USA Hockey's executive director Pat Kelleher president and commissioner of the United States Hockey League, Tom Garrity, among others.