Birmingham's Ryder Rolston and Novi's Aidan McCarthy can't wait for tonight's BioSteel All-American Game at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth.
Rolston and McCarthy are two of the six local players who will compete in a showcase of top U.S.-born prospects for the 2020 NHL Draft.
They will skate for Team (Scott) Gomez, which is made up of players from the United States Hockey League against Team (Mike) Knuble, comprised of players from the National Team Development Program.
Every NHL team will be in attendance for the nationally-televised game on the Hockey Network at 7 p.m. Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas was among the scouts and front-office personnel at the gameday skate on Monday morning.
"Having all those people here will definitely help drive us," said Rolston, a 6-1, 170-pound forward with the Waterloo Black Hawks. "You work so hard and now you'll be able to show it. It'll be a high-compete, high-paced game. Nothing but the best."
Birmingham's Ryder Rolston talks about playing in tonight's All-American Game in Plymouth. The Detroit News
McCarthy, a 6-1, 170-pound goalie with the Dubuque Fighting Saints, arrived in Plymouth late last night because of weather delays but is ready to play in the first half of tonight's game in front of NHL scouts as well as family and friends.
"I can't wait," said McCarthy, who is still weighing school options next year and is one of only three players in tonight's game who hasn't committed to a top-ranked university hockey program next year. "I haven't seen my parents since I arrived but I know they'll be here and cheering on our team."
The other local players in the game are: Marysville's Patrick Guzzo (Ohio State University), Linden's Ryan Beck (University of Denver), Port Huron's Jacob Truscott (University of Michigan) and Muskegon's Tanner Latsch (undecided). Rolston will attend Notre Dame next year.
Gomez, an Anchorage native and two-time Stanley Cup champion with the New Jersey Devils, said the game highlights how far USA Hockey has come.
"I missed the development program by a year or two but when they came up with the idea, I remember people were questioning it: 'Is it the right thing to do?'" Gomez said.
"Obviously, years later, it's tremendous. You get the best kids at that age group, the coaching, the atmosphere they have, the facilities. It shows how serious USA Hockey was and as an alum, you're really proud of the young guys in the NHL."
►What: BioSteel All-American Game
►Who: USA Hockey's U18 National Team Development Program against the best American-born players from the United States Hockey League
►When: 7 tonight
►Where: USA Hockey Arena, Plymouth
►Tickets: $15-$20. Box office at 734-453-6400. Parking is $5 per vehicle.
►Honorary coaches: Mike Knuble (NTDP), Scott Gomez (USHL)
►NTDP roster: Goalies Drew Commesso, Noah Grannan; Defenseman Brock Faber, Owen Gallatin, Connor Kelley, Tyler Kleven, Daniel Laatsch, Eamon Powell, Jake Sanderson, Jacob Truscott (Port Huron); Forwards Matthew Beniers, Brett Berard, Thomas Bordeleau, Daniyal Dzhanlyev, Zakary Karpa (Muskegon), Tanner Latsch, Hunter McKown, Dylan Peterson, Landon Slaggert, Ty Smilanic, Hunter Strand, Luke Tuch, Chase Yoder
►USHL roster: Goalies Aidan McCarthy, Logan Stein; Defenseman Noah Ellis, Alex Gagne, Hank Kempf, Ben Meehan, Mitchell Miller, Luke Reid; Forwards Carson Bantle, Ryan Beck (Linden), Brendan Brisson, Nick Capone, Sam Colangelo, Sean Farrell, Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, Alex Gaffney, Patrick Guzzo (Marysville), Alex Laferriere, Ryder Rolston (Birmingham), Wyatt Schingoethe
►Alumni: 188 alumni of all the All-American Prospects Game have been drafted, including 44 first-round selections and a record 31 players in last year's NHL Draft. Notable graduates include Dylan Larkin (Detroit), Jack Eichel (Buffalo), Zach Werenski (Columbus), Seth Jones (Columbus) and Noah Hanifan (Carolina).