USA Hockey Magazine

November 2014

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36 PHOTOS BY Xxxxxxxxxxx W hen Eddie Olczyk was 17 years old, he was skating as part of the famed Diaper Line with fellow youngsters Pat LaFontaine and David A. Jensen at the 1984 Olympic Winter Games. At the time, even in the wake of the "Miracle On Ice," American players were just starting to catch the eye of NHL scouts. So, when Olczyk's home- town Chicago Blackhawks made him the 3rd overall pick in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, it surprised many who had still not warmed up to the idea that Americans could compete at the highest level of the game. A lot of frozen water has flowed under the bridge since then. Olczyk would go on to enjoy a 16-year NHL career, including the Stanley Cup victory in 1994, followed by a brief stint as head coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins before becoming one of the game's most respected television analysts. And here he was, inside a club-level suite at Buffalo's First Niagara Center, sharing a lifetime of hockey wisdom with a roomful of players the same age as he was when he slipped on the red, white and blue in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. "Don't be in a hurry," said Olczyk, who could have just as easily been speaking to his own sons, all of whom are following in dad's skate tracks. "That's the one piece of advice I can give you. Let things happen, and you'll do great things." Considering that his message was being delivered to 42 of the top American players poised to perform in the 2014 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, such a prediction was a pretty safe bet for Olczyk, who was returning to the bench to coach a team named in his honor. Among those listening intently to Olczyk's fatherly advice was Jack Eichel, considered by many the brightest American star to hit the big ice since Patrick Kane. NOVEMBER. 2014 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game Shows The Depth Of The Homegrown Talent Pool THE FUTURE IS By HARRY THOMPSON N W 1. Noah Hanifin, above, is rated among the top defensemen eligible for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. 2. Luke Opilka showed off his skills in stopping 22 of the 23 shots he faced for Team Grier. 1 2

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