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Buffalo Sabres to Host National Hockey League Scouting Combine in 2015 & 2016

August 18th, 2014 at 3:02 PM
By Richard N. Wade II

Hockey starved fans in Buffalo still have to wait several weeks before the first Sabres preseason games take place.

Fans got other exciting news this afternoon during a press conference at First Niagara Center today. The Buffalo Sabres will host the next two National Hockey League Scouting Combines, both in 2015 & 2016. The event will take place at the HarborCenter, which will open in the Fall of this year.

The announcement came today at a 1 p.m. Monday afternoon. Sabres president Ted Black was delighted to have the Sabres chosen to host the Combine.

"We are honored that the NHL has once again looked to Buffalo to launch a new concept," Black said. "We want to be sure the combine is a premier event for all 30 teams in the league."

The Scouting Combine is usually held in late May or June, and is essential for teams looking to acquire knowledge on the newest prospects in the upcoming draft. Teams conduct interviews with potential draftees and prospects undergo fitness and skill tests, hopefully improving their draft value.

"The HarborCenter was built with events like the combine in mind," said John Koelmel, HarborCenter's president.

Opening this fall, the HarborCenter is a $172 million hockey and entertainment complex that is connected to First Niagara Center in the Canalside District of downtown Buffalo. Among the many amenities, the facility features 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 and a 750-space parking structure and additional retail space.

City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, also in attendance at the press conference, sees this an exciting opportunity for the City of Buffalo.

"This will provide an opportunity to showcase the transformation going on in the City of Buffalo.

Kaleida Health will also be partnering with the HarborCenter, providing all medical services for the facility. Kaleida Health is the largest healthcare provider in Western New York.

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