Pitt. Paper Highlights NHL Success

The Post-Gazette looks at college hockey's growing success at the NHL level.
eric hartzell
Eric Hartzell is among the candidates to become Quinnipiac's first alum in the NHL.

With the Frozen Four headed to Pittsburgh this week, one of the local newspapers highlighted college hockey's growing influence at the NHL level in its Sunday edition.

Jenn Menendez looked at that success in the Post-Gazette, highlighted by the hometown Penguins:

College hockey players in the NHL topped 300 in the 2011-12 season for the first time and have increased by 43 percent in just over a decade, according to data collected by the nonprofit group College Hockey Inc.

There are more Division I programs than ever before -- with 59 this season following the addition of Penn State -- accounting for some of the rise.

"The college route has been fantastic for a lot of different players, especially recently," said Penguins general manager Ray Shero. "You see a Jonathan Toews going to North Dakota for two years and leaves. He can always finish in a few years and get his degree. That's a superstar."

The Penguins are particularly supportive of college hockey from the locker room all the way to the front office.

Craig Adams played at Harvard, Tanner Glass at Dartmouth, Chris Kunitz for Ferris State, Paul Martin for Minnesota, Matt Niskanen for Minnesota-Duluth and Joe Vitale at Northeastern. Coach Dan Bylsma went to Bowling Green, and Shero to St. Lawrence University.

The story, which can be found here, included quotes from former BC national champion Brooks Orpik, Glass, Vitale, as well as Rand Pecknold and Zach Currie from Quinnipiac.

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