The Buffalo Sabres and the NHL announced Monday that the pre-draft NHL Scouting Combine will be held in Buffalo in 2015 and 2016.
The First Niagara Center, and the almost completed HARBORCENTER will host the event that is generally meant to evaluate and showcase the top up and coming prospects looking to enter the NHL draft.
“The NHL Combine is an essential event for all of our Member Clubs in advance of the Draft, which continues to grow in importance,” said Colin Campbell, senior executive vice president of NHL Hockey Operations in a released statement. “The League has pushed to improve the Combine each year and the state-of-the-art facilities in Buffalo will allow us to further enhance the quality of the event for our teams, prospects and media.”
Efforts to host the combine began two years ago, when construction on the HarborCenter hockey/entertainment complex across the street from First Niagara Center first began. The facility is scheduled to open this fall and will feature two rinks and a full-service hotel.
“HarborCenter was built with events like the Combine in mind,” said John Koelmel, HarborCenter’s president. “Our intent was to provide a world-class facility for hockey that attracts the sport’s best events. The NHL Combine continues to grow every year and we’re confident that HarborCenter and all of its amenities will only add to the experience for the league and all of the participating prospects.”
In addition, the team announced that the Sabres and NHL will partner with local healthcare provider Kaleida Health to provide all the testing and medical services needed to evaluate the athletes at the combine.