College Well Represented In NHL Entry Draft
Collegians making impact in NHL
June 20, 2007
- History Analysis: Stats Table | Overview | Drafting College Players | Early Signings
- Olshansky: Feeling The Draft From Miles Away
- Starman: College Well Represented in Draft
- Player Profiles: Dion Knelsen, Alaska | Ben Smith, Boston College | Billy Sweatt, Colorado College
- Player Capsules: Incoming Forwards | Incoming Defensemen/Goaltenders | Current Collegians
- Recruit Profiles: BC's Petrecki & BU's Cohen | UNH's van Riemsdyk & Wisconsin's Turris
- Draft Day: American Dreams Realized | Getting Schooled | Who Says You Can't Go Home? | A Golden Day
By Dave Starman
Special to CSTV.com
Dave is a CSTV game and studio analyst, and contributes regular insight to CSTV.com. E-mail here!
College players have figured prominently in the NHL Entry Draft. Three of the top five had college hockey ties in last summer's draft as Erik Johnson went first, Jonathan Toews went third, and Phil Kessel went fifth. Kessel and Toews were drafted right out of college (
Quick trivia question here. Know which college player was the first one ever drafted by an NHL team? Answer later.
Looking at the draft statistically, college players have made up as much as 27.5 percent of players selected (1975) or as low as 2.1percent as they did in 1994 and 1995. Last season, 18 of 213 players drafted were
Over the last three drafts, NHL scouts have focused their eyes on
The teams that have produced the most draft choices wouldn't surprise many fans of college hockey. The top four are your usual suspects with
Here's your trivia answer: Back in 1968, as the NHL was beginning to phase out NHL-sponsored junior teams to incorporate a complete amateur draft; two collegians were selected back-to-back. They were Brown's Curt Bennett, who went 16th to
There have been some great collegians who have great careers in the NHL. The Craig Simpsons, Rod Brind'Amours, Tony Amontes, John LeClairs and Mark Johnsons were all high picks. However, there have been some low round picks off NCAA rosters who went on to great careers.
How about Stanley Cup winner Chris Nilan? "Knuckles" played his varsity hockey at Northeastern and was the 231st pick of the 1978 draft. An effective and hard nosed player, he played close to 15 seasons with
Next would be a guy who should get some Hall of Fame consideration, and that is Dave Taylor. Now a well respected NHL scout and former GM of the LA Kings (with whom he is still employed), Taylor played under Jerry York at Clarkson and helped launch that program to great heights. He was picked by LA with the 210th pick of the 1975 dtaft.
Gary Suter, brother of gold medal-winning defenseman Bob Suter, was a standout defenseman under Badger Bob Johnson at
A recent winner of the Stanley Cup and another Clarkson alum is Todd Marchant. Blazing around the
Next up is John-Michael Liles. A standout defenseman for the Green and White of Michigan State, Liles sat around on draft day until
There have also been the aforementioned high draft choices and there have been many recently.
Recapping the past few years, these players have all been selected out of college in the top two rounds: Simon Danis-Pepin, Paul Stastny, Tom Fritsche, Dan Bertram, Nate Hagemo, Al Montoya, Drew Stafford, Grant Lewis, Adam Pineault, David Booth, Hugh Jessiman, Zach Parise, Mark Stuart, Ryan Kessler, Jeff Tambellini, Patrick Eaves, Danny Richmond and Jimmy Howard.
It has always been asked why more college players do not get drafted.
Many college players will play an extra year or two of junior after graduating from high school. Some will "PG" a year at a Prep School and then play a year or two of junior. That puts many college players into their freshman year after their draft year so they are no longer draft eligible.
The other reason is where many college hockey fans have an argument with the overall lack of representation of college players in the draft. A large majority of players enter college hockey already drafted. That happened when they were playing junior, prep school, or with the USNDTP.