Johnstown Tomahawks rookie goaltender Ryan Bednard is one of two North American Hockey League players selected to appear in the third annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, to be played in Buffalo later this month.
The game features 42 of the top American-born prospects eligible for the 2014 National Hockey League Entry Draft. The game is slated for Sept. 25 at First Niagra Center, the home of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres.
Bednard, the younger brother of the Tomahawks' 2013-14 leading scorer Shane Bednard, will play for the team coached by former NHL player Mike Grier. Former Pittsburgh Penguins player and head coach Eddie Olczyk will coach the opposing team.
The game will include 23 players appearing on NHL Central Scouting's “Futures List,” which highlights players viewed as potential picks within the first three rounds of next summer's NHL Entry Draft.
“It's a huge honor to be invited to play in the All-American Prospects Game,” Bednard said. “It means a lot to be listed as one of the top four American-born goaltenders of this draft class. It's going to be a quick, fast-paced game. I'm ready for it and looking forward to the opportunity.”
With the Tomahawks set to begin their third season in the NAHL tomorrow, Bednard has only seen pre-season action in net for Johnstown so far this year. In his Aug. 30 appearance in the exhibition game against the Springfield Pics of the USPHL, Bednard stopped 26 of 27.
“Ryan deserves this honor,” Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia said. “What stands out about Ryan is his desire to improve and succeed. We literally have to drag him off the ice at times because he is constantly working at his game, very similar to his brother Shane. He never complains and does what is asked. I am looking forward to seeing how he develops and watching him grow in a Tomahawks uniform.”
The Tomahawks open the 2014-15 NAHL season on the road Sept. 13 in Connellsville, Pa., against their new in-state rivals the Keystone Ice Miners. The game begins at 7:30 p.m.
Johnstown's home schedule begins Oct. 25, also against the Ice Miners.
Flex-ticket packages for the upcoming season are currently available and start at less than $99. For information, contact the team at 814-536-4625 or visit JohnstownTomahawks.com