Tri-City Americans defensemen Brandon Carlo and Parker Wotherspoon are in Buffalo, N.Y., this week for the NHL Combine at the new First Niagara Center and HarborCenter.
They are part of a 24-player Western Hockey League contingent invited to the event, which has 120 invitees.
Carlo, a 6-foot-5, 196-pound native of Colorado Springs, Colo., was listed 25th (eighth among defensemen) in the NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings among North American skaters for the NHL Draft on June 26-27 in Florida.
A physical shutdown defenseman who can log big minutes, Carlo had four goals and 21 assists in 63 games. He also played in the Top Prospects Game, played for the United States at the World Junior Championship, where he served as an assistant captain, and played in the CCM/USA Hockey All-Americans Prospects Game last September and recored two assists.
Carlo could be the highest pick from Colorado Springs since David Hale, a defenseman who went 22nd overall to the New Jersey Devils in 2000 and spent seven years in the NHL.
The 6-1, 171-pound Wotherspoon was ranked 43rd. The native of Surrey British Columbia, led the Americans’ defensemen in scoring with 42 points, including nine goals and a team-high 33 assists, while playing all 72 regular-season games.
Wotherspoon also played for Team Canada at the IIHF U-18 World Championships in April, helping the club to a bronze medal. He scored five points (1 goals, 4 assists) in seven games.
Wotherspoon’s older brother Tyler, who played defense for the Portland Winterhawks, was a second-round draft pick (57th overall) of the Calgary Flames in 2011.
At the combine, both players will have several in-depth interviews with teams, have a medical screening and undergo physical tests, provided they pass the medical screening.
HOME OPENER: Tri-City will host the Spokane Chiefs on Oct. 3 in their home opener for the 2015-16 season. They also will host the Seattle Thunderbirds on Oct. 4. The full schedule will be released later this month.
ON THE DOTTED LINE: The Americans signed their first-round pick, Carson Focht, from last month’s WHL draft. He had a league-high 39 goals and 70 points last season for the Notre Dame Hounds of the South Saskatchewan Minor Hockey League.