Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/18/14 at 12:58 PM ET
TORONTO (Aug. 18, 2014) – The NHL Combine, an annual event featuring the top 120 draft-eligible players from North America and Europe, will be held at First Niagara Center and HARBORCENTER in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2015 and 2016, the National Hockey League and Buffalo Sabres announced today.
The weeklong NHL Combine, gives all 30 Member Clubs a chance to evaluate hockey’s future stars three weeks before the NHL Draft. Prospects convene for interviews with NHL club management, scouts and athletic training staff as well as undergo medical and fitness examinations as part of a complete mental and physical assessment.
The 2015 NHL Combine is set to feature highly-touted North American prospects Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) and Connor McDavid (Richmond Hill, Ont.) ahead of the 2015 NHL Draft hosted by the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., June 26-27.
“The NHL Combine is an essential event for all of our Member Clubs in advance of the Draft, which continues to grow in importance,” said Colin Campbell, senior executive vice president of NHL Hockey Operations. “The League has pushed to improve the Combine each year and the state-of-the-art facilities in Buffalo will allow us to further enhance the quality of the event for our teams, prospects and media.”
“We’ve had our eye on hosting the Combine for quite some time and we are thrilled that it will be coming to Buffalo,” said Ted Black, president of the Sabres. “Terry and Kim Pegula have made it a goal of this organization to create an environment here in Buffalo that is ideal for hosting highly visible events like the Combine and we are certainly ready to meet that challenge. All of our resources will be in place to ensure a successful event for the league and we’re proud to have the next wave of NHL players pass through Buffalo.”
First Niagara Center and HARBORCENTER offer a unique setting for the event. The combined facility is the only three-rink complex among NHL teams and offers an “all-in-one” package, with additional off-ice training space, a restaurant and a hotel housed in HARBORCENTER.
HARBORCENTER, which opens this fall, boasts two NHL-size rinks, 11 locker rooms, the Academy of Hockey, IMPACT Sports Performance training facility, (716) Food and Sport restaurant, a destination Tim Hortons location, a full-service Marriott hotel, a 750-space parking structure and additional retail space.
Partnering with the NHL and the Sabres is Kaleida Health, the largest healthcare provider in Western New York, to provide all medical services and testing for the Combine.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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