What to watch for from tonight's potential first round draft picks
The CCM/All-American Prospects Game will be played tonight in Buffalo, and this year, hockey fans will have the opportunity to watch the game with it being broadcast on the NHL Network.
Expect tonight's game to be a two-and-a-half hour infomercial for Boston University's Jack Eichel, who is currently projected to be the second overall pick in the NHL Draft. That's not a terrible thing either. Eichel is a special player and certainly worthy of the praise. But this is a special year for American draft talent that goes beyond Eichel, and you'll be missing out if you're only focusing on what Eichel does.
So who are some of the other players you should be watching for tonight? Here's a breakdown of the other players that might be first round NHL Draft picks this summer, and what you should be watching for them to do tonight:
#10 Jeremy Bracco, Forward, NTDP(Boston College)
What to watch for: Bracco might be the most exciting offensive player to watch in this game. He's an excellent skater and his scoring ability is arguably the best here.
#4 Brandon Carlo, Defense, Tri-City(WHL)
What to watch for: Carlo should stand out because he's absolutely huge, but what really separates him is his skating ability for his size.
#17 Kyle Connor, Forward, Youngstown(USHL)(Michigan)
What to watch for: Connor might be the fastest player in tonight's game. His explosive skating makes him a dangerous offensive threat any time he's on the ice.
#12 Jordan Greenway, Forward, NTDP(Boston University)
What to watch for: Greenway is 6'5" 222 lbs, but moves like a much smaller player and is pretty good at handling the puck. He's not just a power forward that will camp out in front of the net all night. He can make plays all over the ice.
#3 Zach Werenski, Defense, Michigan
What to watch for: Werenski isn't flashy and won't stand out like some of the other top players, but watch him and you'll notice him control the game with his strong skating and smart defensive play. He does a tremendous job taking away time and space from opponents with his lateral movement.
#17 Paul Bittner, Forward, Portland(WHL)
What to watch for: Bittner has remarkable hand-eye coordination for a player that is 6'5". He'll make a lot of skill plays with the puck.
#12 Brock Boeser, Forward, Waterloo(USHL)(Wisconsin)
What to watch for: Boeser drives play with his strong skating. If he's paired up with linemate Tommy Novak, that pair forms a deadly combination that is difficult to stop.
#3 Noah Hanifin, Defense, Boston College
What to watch for: Hanifin is just behind Eichel in most draft rankings. He's a high-impact offensive defenseman that is always using his talent to jump into the play and trying to make things happen offensively.
#4 Tom Novak, Forward, Waterloo(USHL)(Minnesota)
What to watch for: Novak has smooth hands and excellent offensive sense. He teamed up with Boeser to lead the recent Hlinka U18 championships in scoring.
#9 Colin White, Forward, NTDP(Boston College)
What to watch for: White is one of the smartest players on the ice, and while it might not show in a wide-open all-star game, White's jack-of-all-trades game makes him an incredibly versatile player. He's an excellent center that plays well on both ends of the ice.
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