The 2015 NHL Entry Draft is in the books. During the 2015 NHL draft, Division I college hockey experienced a banner year with 56 current or future players drafted.
Even more impressive, a record three current college hockey players were drafted in the top-eight of the 2015 NHL Draft.
How good was the 2015 NHL Draft for college hockey? Seven current or future Division I college hockey players were drafted in the first-round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That the most since the 2010 NHL Draft.
The seven first-round NCAA picks are the most since 2010. Eichel became the highest selection by a current or future NCAA player since James van Riemsdyk went second overall to Philadelphia in 2007
Eichel and Hanifin became the 17th and 18th NCAA players to be top-five picks in NHL Draft history
This marks the second time three current or future NCAA players were taken in the top eight selections (also 2006, when Erik Johnson, Jonathan Toews, Phil Kessel and Kyle Okposo went in the top seven). (College Hockey Inc.)
As predicted, Boston University superstar Jack Eichel was drafted number two overall by the Buffalo Sabres. That led the field for the players with ties to college hockey.
With the fifth pick, Carolina selected defenseman Noah Hanifin of Boston College. And finally, Columbus selected Michigan defenseman Zach Werenski. There were four other college hockey bound players drafted in the first round. During this year’s NHL Entry Draft, 27 college hockey teams were represented over 56 draft picks.
Even though they have yet to play a game, college hockey newcomer Arizona State University had one player drafted. ASU’s incoming freshman goalie Joel Daccord was taken 199th overall in the seventh round by the Ottawa Senators.
Michigan Wolverines have banner draft
The University of Michigan Wolverines hockey team boasts an impressive history. This past weekend, the Wolverines added to that legacy when they had two current players selected in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
With Zach Werenski (3rd overall Columbus Blue Jackets) and Kyle Connor (17th overall Winnipeg Jets) being selected in the first round, Michigan now has 20 players that have been drafted in the first round of the NHL draft.
The Wolverines and the Boston College Eagles had the most first-round draft choices. Both teams had two first-round draft choices in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Who will be tomorrow’s NHL superstars?
Michigan led the 2015 NHL Draft with six current of future players being selected in the 2015 NHL Draft. Coming in second, Boston College, Boston University, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Those five teams all had four players drafted.
College hockey continues to be a major development route to the NHL. Approximately 30 percent of the players in the NHL come from Division I college hockey. It will be interesting to see which players taken in the 2015 NHL Draft emerges to be tomorrow’s next star. Who’s your pick?
Eric is a 1996, 1999 graduate of the University of North Dakota. Eric covers the University of North Dakota Hockey and Division I college hockey. Eric is the Contributing Editor for Inside Hockey.