With a pair of assists in each of the Tri-City Americans’ games last weekend, defenseman Brandon Carlo has a ray of confidence entering the third annual USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in Buffalo, N.Y.
“It always helps to have good games before something like this,” Carlo said. “I have a lot of confidence right now. I feel good.”
Today’s game at First Niagara Center, home of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, will air at 4 p.m. on the NHL Network. The game brings together the top U.S. players who are eligible for the 2015 NHL draft.
“It will be a good experience for me,” said Carlo, who also participated in the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in August. “It will be fun.”
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Carlo left Wednesday morning and should return in time for Friday’s home game against Seattle, but Tri-City general manager Bob Tory said it would be up to coach Mike Williamson and Carlo if he would play.
Carlo, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound native of Colorado Springs, Colo., is the first Tri-City player chosen for the game.
“That is a special accomplishment for Brandon and nice recognition for our team,” Tory said. “It helps put us on the map, and it’s a good recruiting tool. It shows how far he has come in a short amount of time. This is special.”
Carlo is one of three WHL players participating in the game. Portland Winterhawks forward Paul Bittner and Vancouver Giants forward Alec Baer also were among the 42 players selected.
Carlo and Baer will play on Team Grier under coach Mike Grier, and Bittner will play on Team Olczyk under coach Eddie Olczyk.