"We're really excited to bring this event to Minnesota for the very first time," said John Vanbiesbrouck, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. "Fans will have the unique opportunity to see the next generation of American players, including the potential top pick in the next NHL Draft as well as ten players from the state of Minnesota. Hockey in our country continues to grow and it's great to be able to showcase our top players in an event like this."
Each year the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game assembles the top U.S. players who are eligible for the upcoming NHL Draft. Following last year’s game, 28 players who participated in the contest went on to be chosen in the 2018 NHL Draft, including Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.), the most valuable player in last year's event who was the first American chosen when the Ottawa Senators selected him fourth overall.
Among the 42 skaters are 19 players who have represented the United States in international competition. Last April, goaltender Spencer Knight (Darien, Conn.), defenseman Cam York (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) and forwards Cole Caufield (Stevens Point, Wis.), Jack Hughes (Orlando, Fla.), Trevor Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.) and Alex Turcotte (Island Lake, Ill.) helped the U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team earn a silver medal at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Men's World Championship in Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorosk, Russia.
In addition, 12 players have skated on a U.S. Under-18 Men's Select Team while eight have played on a U.S. Under-17 Men's Select Team. Earlier this month, goaltender Dustin Wolf (Tustin, Calif.); defensemen Michael Koster (Chaska, Minn.) and Cade Webber (Meadville, Pa.); and forwards John Farinacci (Chatham, N.J.), Aaron Huglen (Roseau, Minn.), Arthur Kaliyev (Delray Beach, Fla.), Robert Mastrosimone (East Islip, N.Y.), Nick Robertson (Northville, Mich.), Grant Silianoff (Edina, Minn.) and Luke Toporowski (Bettendorf, Iowa) were part of the U.S. Under-18 Men's Select Team that finished fourth at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta.
To date, six AAPG alumni have been drafted by the Minnesota Wild, including Louie Belpedio (Skokie, Ill.), Jordan Greenway (Canton, N.Y.) and Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.), who all skated for the Wild this past season. 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).
NOTES: Minnesota leads all states with 10 players, including Kaden Bohlsen (Willmar), Ben Brinkman (Edina), Ryder Donovan (Duluth), Ethan Frisch (Moorhead), Drew Helleson(Farmington), Aaron Huglen (Roseau), Trevor Janicke (Maple Grove), Michael Koster (Chaska), Garrett Pinoniemi (Mound) and Grant Silianoff (Edina) … Collectively, 17 states are represented on the roster, including Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin ... Thirty-one players have ties to the United States Hockey League, the top junior league in the U.S., including 19 players associated with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in Plymouth, Mich. ... Players selected to compete in the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game were chosen by USA Hockey in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting … To date, 155 players who have participated in the event have gone on to be selected in the NHL Draft, including 36 first-round selections and 46 players who have already made NHL debuts ... 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.