A standout group of rookies and a record number of goaltenders highlighted the 310 NCAA alumni to appear in the NHL this season, the fourth year that more than 300 former college hockey players have appeared in the NHL.
College players made up 31.5% of all NHLers, the eighth straight season of at least 30% representation by NCAA alumni. The former college players in the NHL include:
- Six of the league’s top 12 rookie scorers, including the top two rookie goal scorers in Kyle Connor (31) and Brock Boeser (29)
- A record 28 goaltenders, three more than any other NHL season
- 16 players who played in both the NCAA and NHL this season, a record for one year and four times as many as just four years ago
Forty-nine of the 60 NCAA Division I schools had an alum playing in the NHL in 2017-18. Minnesota led all schools with 26 alumni in the NHL, followed by Boston College (22), North Dakota (22), Michigan (21) and Boston University (18).
NCAA alumni in the NHL in 2017-18 included:
- 80% of all Americans in the league
- 50% of all undrafted players in the league
- 37% of all players who made their NHL debuts
Former Massachusetts goaltender Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings captured the William Jennings Trophy, one of several standout individual performances by NHL alumni in 2017-18. Other highlights included:
- Minnesota alum Blake Wheeler, who shared the NHL lead with 68 assists and led the Winnipeg Jets in scoring with a career high 91 points
- Former UMass Lowell goaltenders Connor Hellebuyck and Carter Hutton, who led the NHL in wins (Hellebuyck, 44, a record for U.S.-born goalies), goals-against average (Hutton, 2.09) and save percentage (Hutton, .931)
- Notre Dame alum Anders Lee, whose 40 goals for the New York Islanders marked a career high and the most for an NCAA alumnus since Joe Pavelski scored 41 in 2013-14
More than 71% of the 310 former college players in the NHL played at least three seasons on campus. Men’s hockey enjoys a 90% graduation rate, among the best NCAA Division I men’s sports according to the NCAA.