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AAPG Notebook: Back to Buffalo

By Matt Trevor, 09/24/12, 8:57PM EDT


Back to Buffalo
Phil Housley and Rob McClanahan, head coaches for the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects game, were drafted by and played for the Buffalo Sabres. Housley was picked sixth overall in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft. He played the first eight of his 21 NHL seasons in Buffalo. McClanahan went 49th overall in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft and spent two seasons with the Sabres from 1980-81. Legendary coach and administrator Scotty Bowman had a hand in selecting both players.

Rob McClanahan, on the depth and breadth of talent in the United States:
“USA Hockey has done a tremendous job over the last 10 or 15 years of finding talent and creating programs to allow those players to move a step above and beyond what had been available prior to that. It’s going to be fun for these kids to play against each other because they’re going to be able to measure themselves.”

The M-ore the M-errier
While traditional hockey states Minnesota (8 players), Michigan (6) and Massachusetts (5) lead the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game with 19 total players, 10 other states have produced players for the game. Illinois and New York have five and four players, respectively. The rest of the represented states include California, Colorado (2), Iowa, North Dakota (2), Ohio, Pennsylvania (2), Texas and Wisconsin (2).

Success Breeds Success
The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Preseason Poll debuted on Sept. 24 with Boston College and Minnesota splitting the No. 1 ranking, followed by Michigan and North Dakota at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. Skating in Saturday’s CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game will be a combined 11 players who have verbally committed to BC, UM, UM and UND. The Wolverines have four players and the Eagles have three, while the Gophers and North Dakota have two each. Altogether, 23 players are verbally committed to NCAA programs and another six are in their freshman college seasons. For a complete list of verbal commitments, click here.

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